West Haven, CT – West Haven Fire Department Captain Frank Meyer, 39, and former volunteer firefighter Brett Bartolotta, 42, have been arrested by the Vermont State Police. They have been charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking, stemming from criminal allegations in Ludlow and Cavendish, Vermont.
The two firemen are accused of keeping a sex slave. Authorities say a 25-year-old man came forward, claiming the two men had engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with him. Allegedly the two firemen kept the unidentified victim as a sex slave since his childhood, starting from the age of 12.
The victim explained initially meeting Bartolotta when he went to a friend’s house to ride dirt bikes. Eventually Bartolotta offered to sell the boy a dirt bike with the condition of weekly payments. When the boy missed a payment, the firefighter offered to accept sexual favors in lieu of money until the bike was paid off.
Two weeks after the bike was paid off it disappeared. The child thought at the time it had been stolen, but in hindsight believes Bartolotta may have been the culprit, reports NBC News.
Bartolotta lulled the child into believing he was someone safe to share his problems and learn about sex with. The teen was told to keep his appearance youthful and boyish.
The victim described being subjected to bondage and perverse sexual acts in Bartolotta’s condo, usually on Friday nights, in exchange for gifts. Once Bartolotta married, he would take the boy to housing construction locations to engage in sex.
A year into the relationship Bartolotta introduced the teen to Meyer. Meyer offered a new hunting bow for sex. On one occasion Meyer persuaded the teen to perform a sex act on another 17-year-old male.
Meyer and Bartolotta were associated with the fire department’s youth program called the Explorers.
After a sting operation where the victim donned a wire and the conversation alluded to an acknowledgement of the underage sex, Meyer and Bartolotta were arrested. Both men have pled not guilty and have been detained on $50,000 bail.