A North Carolina man is accused of keeping a woman and her baby captive against their will in his home for more a month, abusing her as a sex slave.
On Aug. 9, a woman dialed 911 to report that she was being held against her will at a home in Willard, a press release from the Pender County Sheriff’s Office states.
“The unnamed 24-year-old victim had an 8-month-old baby with her at the residence,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators subsequently arrested James Bryan Peterson, 54, and charged him with two counts of assault on a female, one count of sexual battery and one count of assault by pointing a gun.
The survivor and her baby were allegedly kidnapped on the Fourth of July, the Wilmington Star-News reports. Peterson allegedly used a taser on the woman, held her at gunpoint and repeatedly sexually assaulted her, the Star-News reports
Peterson was being held on a $20,000 secured bond but he posted that bond and was released from jail on Aug. 10.
After he was released, a search warrant was executed at his home and Peterson was arrested again and slammed with more charges: one count of human trafficking an adult victim, one count of human trafficking a child victim, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of involuntary servitude, one count of sexual servitude and other related charges.
Now he’s back behind bars and this time he is being held on a $2 million bond.
Peterson’s neighbor Ashley Gurganus told WWAY-TV in Wilmington that she was “shocked” by the allegations, which she called “very scary.”
“I think he kind of, maybe kept to himself,” she said of her neighbor. “I never really saw him in and out much. You just usually hear it happening far away or across seas. Something like that. But when it happens in your hometown, you just can’t believe it.”
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