A sex ring trafficked mentally-ill young men after getting them hooked on drugs for more than 20 years, court papers claim.
The ring is believed to have supplied at least eight wealthy men, who paid $250 for sex in Connecticut and Massachusetts in the US.
Authorities said Robert King, of Danbury, who has been arrested, was at the heart of the prostitution operations, Danbury newspaper the News Times reported.
Court records shows that at least 15 young men in their early twenties were part of the scheme. They suffered from illnesses such schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and some had severe disabilities and were living in group homes.
King would befriend troubled young men, including one he allegedly found going through a dumpster, get them hooked on cocaine and heroin before encouraging them to prostitute themselves to pay for their drug habit.
“I’m just a gay guy trying to help people,” King told police.
According to neighbours’ testimonies, King used to bring back some of the young men to his mobile home.
They described King as having a “nasty temper” and said groups of teenage boys would often hang around his house, running up and down the street, apparently high on drugs, the Danbury paper reports.
The ring has been under investigation from police authorities since January 2016 but Bruce J Bermer, of Glastonbury, owner of the Waterford Speedbowl and New England Motor Sports, who was charged this week with patronising a trafficked person, said King had been sending him prostitutes for more than 20 years.
William Trefzger, a previously convicted sex offender from Westport, has also been charged for the same offence while King has been charged with second-degree prostitution and tampering with a witness.
The court records show that Trefzger first denied involvement in prostitution but later admitted having sex with boys King delivered to his home. He also admitted he knew they had mental health problems.