A raid by Florida cops on a squalid cellular house revealed two teenage boys — one in every of whom had been repeatedly sexually abused — who had been lured from their households by way of a web-based gaming app, police mentioned Monday.

St. Petersburg police mentioned the 2 teen boys – 16 and 17 years previous – had been rescued in Might after Louisiana authorities alerted them the 17-year-old had been persuaded to depart house by somebody he met on gaming app Discord and could possibly be residing in a cellular house within the Florida metropolis.

On Monday, authorities mentioned six folks – 5 males and a girl – had been arrested on human trafficking fees. A seventh suspect, 34-year-old Curtis Lee Gruwell, turned himself in to police on Tuesday, authorities said.

“As a mom, I can not start to emphasize how disturbing the details of this case are for me,” new Florida Legal professional Common Ashley Moody mentioned throughout a information convention Monday, the Tampa Bay Instances reported.

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The opposite six folks arrested had been recognized as: Mark Earl Dennis, 52 and Andrew Barry Dennis, 45, a married couple arrested in Pinellas County; Michael Ray Blasdel, 36, and J.R. Gauthier, 29, who had been additionally arrested in Pinellas; Eleanor Faye McGlamory, 56, arrested in Marion County; and Michael Wayne Schwartz, 51, arrested in Lee County.

Police mentioned the 17-year-old was lured away from his household after McGlamory, who knew the boy’s household, reached out to him by way of the gaming app and promised him a greater life. {The teenager} was then picked up by Gruwell in Louisiana and so they drove again to St. Petersburg.

“He was informed he was going to go to a spot that was higher,” police Chief Tony Holloway mentioned.

When police went to analyze the house on the Silver Lake Cellular Neighborhood on Might 9, they discovered the 16-year-old teenager residing in squalor.

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Mark Dennis initially claimed to be {the teenager}’s father, nevertheless, police discovered that the 16-year-old boy was reported lacking from Marion County practically a 12 months in the past.

Police decide that McGlamory had additionally reached out to the 16-year-old – when he was 15 – and arrange a gathering with the Dennises. After assembly in individual, the couple determined to provide the boy a “new identification” and left a word on the boy’s home telling his mom to not search for him, the Tampa Bay Instances reported.

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The boy was pressured to stay on a small mattress, surrounded by animal cages and animal waste, authorities mentioned.

In keeping with police, Gruwell and Schwartz lived within the cellular house with the Dennises. All 4 males, together with Blasdel and Gauthier, are accused of sexually battering the 16-year-old boy, police mentioned.

Authorities mentioned they don’t imagine the 17-year-old was sexually battered and was returned house. The 16-year-old is receiving therapy for his ordeal and is in a protected location, police mentioned.

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“You wouldn’t suppose that you simply stay in Florida, it’s a great place to stay work and lift a household. Everyone knows that, and but we have now the third highest incidents of human trafficking within the nation,” Moody mentioned.

The Dennises, Blasdel, and Gauthier all face fees of sexual battery of a kid beneath the age of 16. All seven defendants face fees of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and interference with custody. They’re being held in separate jails throughout the state.

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Investigators and sufferer advocates issued a warning Monday, saying that it’s quite common for youngsters to be lured by household, household associates or by on-line apps into human trafficking.

“Traffickers and predators are utilizing social media each single day to recruit youngsters,” Natasha Nascimento, founder and govt director of Redefining Refuge, a Tampa Bay group that helps younger trafficking victims, informed FOX 13.

Police mentioned the investigation is ongoing.

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