NBC reports the woman's captors helped her move from Minnesota to a mobile home in Louisiana
NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. -- Three people have been arrested for allegedly keeping a transgender woman from Minnesota as a slave in the Ajax area of Natchitoches Parish.
According to investigators, the victim was held captive, tortured and forced to perform menial tasks and sexual acts. Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. called it the most "severe and disturbing" case of human trafficking ever investigated in the parish.
The three suspects — David Rodriguez Jr., 37, and Christina Marie Harper, 39, both of Pleasant Hill, and Ambre Tubbs Lomas, 39, of Shreveport — turned themselves in Wednesday and remained in custody Thursday at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
NPSO received a report Saturday night from a Robeline assistant town marshal that he had come in contact with a female who had a logging chain wrapped around her near the intersection of Interstate 49 and Louisiana 6 West near Natchitoches.
After the chain was removed and the victim treated for numerous lacerations and bruises, she was placed in protective custody. She told investigators she had been able to free herself after being held captive, took one of the suspects' vehicles and drove to Natchitoches.
As investigators built the case, they formed a grim picture of what allegedly happened.
The victim, an out-of-state resident, met Rodriguez and Harper online and agreed to voluntarily move into their home several months ago. While living with the couple, Rodriguez made the victim turn over all cash and relinquish ownership of a 1999 Harley Davidson motorcycle to him. Soon afterward, the victim was tattooed by Rodriguez and registered as a slave on a website.
The victim was given a list of daily chores to complete, which included serving meals, taking care of animals, leveling dirt, installing a swimming pool, digging trenches, removing fallen trees and performing sexual acts.
She was subject to mistreatment by Rodriguez, Harper, and a third person identified as Lomas, including beatings, carving initials into her body, being shocked with a Taser and having urine thrown on her. She was kept chained, sometimes outside, fed once a day and given limited water and urine to drink.
On Wednesday, detectives executed a search warrant on the residence located in the 500 block of Dick Anderson Road near Ajax. They seized fifteen firearms, a stun gun, four computers, two tablet computers, three external hard drives, two digital cameras and an iPod.
Two children in the residence, ages 15 and 16, were removed by the State Office of Child Protective Services.
As a result of the investigation:
• Rodriguez was charged with 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.
Bond was set at $635,000.
• Harper was charged with 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.
Bond was set at $635,000.
• Lomas was charged with one count of second-degree kidnapping/false imprisonment and one count of aggravated second-degree battery.
Bond was set at $525,000.