Vermont firefighters charged with holding boy,12, as sex slave for years

Vermont state police have charged two men with Connecticut ties in an alleged child sexual assault case spanning several years that involved a victim who says he was wrapped in cellophane and subjected to other bondage.

State police charged 39-year-old Frank Meyer of West Haven, Conn., and 42-year-old Brett Bartolotta of Cavendish, Vt., with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking Wednesday.

The New Haven Register reports Meyer is a West Haven Fire Department captain and Bartolotta is a former West Haven firefighter.

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Accused: Frank Meyer, 39, of West Haven, Conn., and Brett Bartolotta, 42, of Cavendish, Vt., are charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking

Authorities say a 25-year-old man came forward with the allegations last month, saying the assaults began when he was 12 and the sexual relations continued to last year.

The assaults allegedly occurred in Ludlow and Cavendish.

Both men pleaded not guilty and are detained on $50,000 bail.

The men allegedly bribed the boy to get him to perform hundreds of sexual favors.

Among the gifts was a dirt bike and a hunting bow.


Shared history: Both men have worked as volunteer firefighters for this West Haven fire department

The boy met Bartolotta when he went to a friend's house to ride their dirt bikes, NBC Connecticut reported.

Bartolotta asked the teen to join his racing time, and soon after offered him a dirt bike on the condition he pay for it in weekly installments.

But when the boy missed a payment, Bartolotta offered to pay him for sexual favors until the bike was paid off.

He told him to think of him as someone he could speak to about his problems and learn about sex with.

Then two weeks after the bike was paid for it disappeared. At the time the teen believed it was stolen but told police he now believes Bartolotta may have been the culprit, seeking to have continued meetings at his house.

Later, after Bartolotta had married, he took the boy to the houses of construction clients to perform sexual acts.


Youth leader: Meyer also helped lead the fire department's program for young people, called Explorers

One year into their relationship, he introduced the teen to Meyer.

Eventually Meyer began bringing teens from Connecticut to Vermont and asked the victim to perform a sexual act on a 17-year-old boy.

He asked him to make his appearance more young and boyish. Meyer later offered to pay for a new hunting bow in exchange for sexual favors.

According to court documents, sex acts would occur on the Friday nights before Saturday races.

Meyer is a volunteer firefighter for the West Haven Fire Department as well as a 911 dispatcher.

He also captains a department program for youths called the explorer program.

Bartolotta is a former volunteer firefighter for the same department and also once served as president for the explorer program.

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