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Minnesota woman escapes after being 'slave' in Louisiana


Three people have been charged for allegedly keeping a Minnesota woman as a slave in Louisiana, KARE 11 reports.

According to investigators, the victim was held captive, tortured and forced to perform menial tasks and sexual acts over a period of several months. Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. called it a "severe and disturbing" case of human trafficking.

The 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 remain in custody, according to KTBS TV in Shreveport, Louisiana.

According to the sheriff's department, the victim had a logging chain wrapped around her when she was found Saturday night by a law enforcement officer at a business along Interstate 49 near Natchitoches. She told investigators she had freed herself after being held captive, took one of the suspects' vehicles and drove away, KTBS reports.

Investigators say the victim is in her mid-50s and lived in Minnesota when she met Rodriguez and Harper online and voluntarily agreed to move into their home several months ago. She is a transgender woman and her family had cut her off, according to KMSS TV in Shreveport

Shortly after she moved in, Rodriguez forced the woman to give him all her money as well as a motorcycle she owned. Soon afterward, Rodriguez tattooed the woman and registered her as a slave on a website that bills itself as only registering people for consensual submissive or slave relationships.

The station reports that the woman was forced to do chores such as serving meals, taking care of animals and installing a swimming pool in the yard, and was also forced to perform sexual acts.

The three suspects mistreated her by beating her, carving initials into her body and using a Taser on her. She was kept in chains, given one meal a day and sometimes made to drink urine, according to KARE 11.

On Wednesday, detectives executed a search warrant on the residence, where they seized 15 firearms and a stun gun, along with several computers and other electronic devices.

Authorities removed a 15 and 16-year old who were at the house, and turned them over to child protection officials.

The three suspects are charged with various crimes including human trafficking, kidnapping, false imprisonment and battery. They remain in jail on bonds ranging from $525,000 to $635,000, according to KTBS.

The identity of the victim has not been released. After being treated for her injuries, she was placed in protective custody.

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