Ten arrested in Hernando County sex trafficking investigation

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BROOKSVILLE — Ten people face human trafficking charges after a two-year investigation led by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office showed that one of them forced a teenage girl into prostitution and the other nine paid the trafficker for sex with the girl, Sheriff Al Nienhuis and state officials said at a press conference Friday.

Arrests spanned five counties and included an East Lake firefighter who lives in Hernando County and a Hernando County restaurateur. Nienhuis said more could be arrested as the investigation continues.

“Two years may even seem small compared to what this investigation ends up being,” he said.

The identity of the accused trafficker is being withheld to avoid identifying the victim, Nienhuis said. Officials said the person was someone who had custody of the child, such as a parent or guardian, but would not be more specific. That person faces charges of human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

All the men arrested face those charges, as well as charges of lewd or lascivious battery. They are: Bryan Joseph Giguere, 36, of Homosassa; Joseph Andrew Easton, 24, of Inverness; James William Hancock, 67, of Delray Beach; Jason Michael Raulerson, 46, of High Springs; Spring Hill restaurateur Luigi Barile, 38; Lawrence Edward Kemble, 70, of Ocala; Latchman Kaladeen, 49, of Wesley Chapel; East Lake Fire Rescue Lieutenant Matthew Christopher Doyle, 38, of Spring Hill; and Shawn Christopher Henson, 39, of Newberry. All of them are being held without bail at various jails.

Nienhuis was joined at the press conference by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Mark Brutnell of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who leads the agency’s Tampa Bay operations center.

They gave minimal information about the victim to protect her identity, they said. Nienhuis said the girl was a middle-teenager who was forced to have sex with customers for about six months. The Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip in May 2017 pointing to the “filthy” house where the girl was living. She was immediately rescued then, Nienhuis said, and the investigation began.

“She should have been doing things like learning to drive, attending school dances and maybe thinking about going to college,” Nienhuis said. “Instead, she was forced into prostitution.”

This story will be updated.

Contact Jack Evans at [email protected] Follow @JackHEvans.

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