A 46-year-old hotel proprietor from Connecticut has been arrested for trying to hire a female minor for “slave training” in a “sex dungeon,” The New Haven Register reports. According to the article, Hessler was caught in a sting operation led by an undercover police officer who pretended to be someone who could supply him with underage girls.
The Hartford Courant reports that Hessler’s intentions became known to police when they found his online request for a “young Mexican girl” with whom he could do a “casting couch interview.” A detective who had been working to uncover a sex trafficking ring replied to his message and Hessler sent back photos of the sex dungeon, a trailer near his hotel that he had outfitted with items often associated with BDSM like handcuffs on the wall, whips, and chains.
Hessler reportedly told the undercover detective that he had been performing this type of sex slave training for the past two decades. It appears that he had a particular preference for pre-teen girls. At one point during his negotiation with the detective, he warned that he would purchase three girls aged 6 to 12 from another seller after the undercover policewoman sent him a photo of a 16-year old girl.
The officer then promised to deliver a younger girl to his trailer where Hessler said that he would leave his payment. But they disguised another officer as a young girl and took a photo of her in the “dungeon” to convince Hessler that they had done as he’d asked. He was arrested in his truck as he drove to the location.
Hessler faces a long list of charges as a result. These include second-degree attempted assault and the attempted promotion of child pornography. He is set to appear in court on December 12 and his bail has been set at $1 million.
He has also denied that he had planned to have sexual intercourse with the girl even though he stated that was his intention in communications with the undercover officers. He admitted, however, that he had asked for the “girl” to be handcuffed and gagged when she was dropped off at his trailer.
There are indications that Hessler’s wife knew of her husband’s activities. According to the article in the Hartford Courant, she asked if his arrest was connected to “anything with underage girls.” She also supplied police with flash drives that belonged to him which she had retrieved from their bedroom.