Lawsuit Filed Against Men Accused in Danbury Sex Trafficking RingNewstimes
Dirk Perrefort and Daniel Tepfer
April 06, 2017
DANBURY—Two men victimized by what authorities describe as a long-running sex trafficking ring are looking to seize at least $10 million in assets from two men charged last week as clients of the operation.
A filing in Bridgeport Superior Court on Wednesday seeks to freeze the assets of Westport resident William Trefzger, 71, a convicted sex offender, and Glastonbury resident Bruce Bemer, 63, the owner of the Waterford Speedbowl and Bemer Petroleum, according to court documents. Bemer and Trefzger are accused of patronizing a trafficked person.
Wednesday’s filing would be the first step toward filing a civil suit for damages.
A third man, Robert King of Danbury, is accused of masterminding the ring, which has been in operation for more than 20 years.
Police said King preyed on young men with mental disabilities, plying them with drugs including cocaine and heroin until they ran up substantial debts, then pushing them into prostitution to repay the debts. Bemer admitted to investigators that he had been seeing “boys” delivered by King for more than 20 years, court records show.
“These young men deserve a better life — and sexual predators like Bemer and Trefzger will be held accountable for the irreversible damage they have caused,” said the victims’ attorney, Joel Faxon. “Criminals like this have to know that if they engage in such despicable abuse, there will be a heavy financial cost exacted.
“We will extract every last dollar from these sadistic sociopaths and put them out of business permanently,” Faxon said.
Ed Gavin, an attorney representing Trefzger, said he wants to explore further why the state has chosen to use the trafficking laws against those accused of involvement in the ring. Trafficking cases are typically handled by federal authorities, he said.
“There is no claim that these people were forcibly sexually assaulted,” Gavin said. ”I just hope people don’t jump to conclusions. This is a very complicated case.”
Faxon said he represents several victims in the case — police have identified 15 — and that more lawsuits will likely be filed soon. And while King wasn’t named in Wednesday’s filing, he might be named in additional court documents and future lawsuits, Faxon said.
“(This) filing was solely to restrain assets of the defendants,” Faxon said, adding that King apparently has no significant assets in his own name.
Faxon added that at least one of the victims is in the care of a court-appointed conservator, and the state might have incurred significant expenses over the years caring for him and other victims.
“The state has liens they can pursue against people if state resources were used to care for the victims,” he said. ”So the state will likely benefit from this case. The taxpayers have had to foot the bill for these mens’ depravity.”
A hearing has been scheduled April 24 to hear arguments related to the proposed asset seizure.
Most victims in the case were young men in their 20s, court records show.
One plaintiff in the case is said in court documents to have been approached by King while going through a Dumpster looking for bottles. The victim, who then lived at a group home in Danbury, told police he would hang out with King at his mobile home playing guitar and doing drugs, and that he eventually wound up hooked and in debt.
The victim told police that the drugs, combined with his mental state, might have allowed “people to do things to him that he wouldn’t normally do,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
“I only like girls, I’m not gay,” he told police.
Bemer, the document notes, also told police that he he stopped paying for sex with one of the young men involved because “he got too old.”