Woman rescued from "severe and disturbing" case of human trafficking
AJAX, La.- Details were released Thursday afternoon of what law enforcement agents in central Louisiana called the most severe and disturbing case of human trafficking ever investigated in the region.
Three people face charges after an unidentified woman was found attached to a logging chain and a bucket. The woman was found near Natchitoches, close to 17 miles from where she was being held captive before breaking free.
According to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office, the woman, who was not from Louisiana, moved in with a couple after the group became acquainted on the Internet. But, soon after moving in with David Rodriguez Jr. and Christina Marie Harper, the woman was forced into modern-day slavery where she was forced to do chores, investigators said.
Investigators said the chores included serving meals, drinks, taking care of animals, leveling dirt for a swimming pool, installing a swimming pool, digging trenches, removal of fallen trees and performing sexual acts. Deputies said Rodriguez tattooed the woman and registered her as a slave on a website and was told if she disobeyed orders, she was beaten, shocked and would have carvings etched into her skin and also would have urine thrown on her.
"At some point, the beatings and discipline became so severe, the victim told her master that she wanted to leave, consequently causing them to chain her outside in the woods, then moved into a building where she was fed once a day, and given limited water and urine to drink," deputies said in a news release, detailing the heinous events that unfolded for months, they believe, and culminated with an escape on May 31st.
The woman was able to free herself and drive a truck belonging to one of the suspects to look for help. When she was found, she was taken to a hospital where she was treated for numerous lacerations and bruises.
When deputies searched the home where this was happening, they found fifteen firearms, a stun gun, four computers, computers, hard drives, a digital camera and video camera and in iPod. A 15-year-old and 16-year-old living there were removed by child protective services.
Rodriguez, 37, and Christina Marie Harper, 39, were booked into jail for one count of human trafficking, one count of aggravated second degree battery, one count of second degree kidnapping/false imprisonment, and two counts of offenses against computer users. Both bonds were set at $635,000 dollars.
Ambre Tubbs Lomas, 39 was booked with one-count of second degree kidnapping/false imprisonment, and one count of aggravated second degree battery. Her bond was set at $525,000 dollars.
State Police and other local, central Louisiana law enforcement agencies assisted with the case.
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