Disturbing text messages revealed in new sex abuse suit against Glastonbury businessman Bruce Bemer

Hartford Courant
Ed Mahony
July 29, 2021

Disturbing text messages describing the procurement of young men exploited by a sex trafficking ring are revealed in a new lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages against accused predator and Glastonbury businessman Bruce Bemer.

The suit was filed Thursday in Hartford by a man who claims that, when he was a 14-year-old living near one of Bemer’s businesses in Glastonbury, Bemer began assaulting him after he asked for an after-school job.

The new filing is the latest among more than a dozen suits against Bemer, who has been accused by police of assaulting at least 15 young men, some of whom suffered from acute psychiatric disorders or drug dependency.

The latest suit is filed anonymously and the victim’s lawyer, Joel Faxon, attached comprehensive police reports and prosecution records, including text messages taken five years ago from Bemer’s telephone and that of Robert King of Danbury, who was convicted of lurking around halfway houses and drug treatment centers to procure young men for Bemer and others.

Bemer, whose businesses include southern New England motorcycle dealerships, an oil company and the Waterford-New London Speedbowl, has been sued more than a dozen times and has settled about half of them, according to court records and other information. In the new suit, Faxon is asking a court to attach $10 million of Bemer’s assets against what the suit calls the likelihood of a judgment for the victim.

Bemer was arrested in March 2017 after a long investigation that began when a defendant with mental disabilities in a criminal case in Danbury told his probation officer that there was a local prostitution ring that had trafficked him and other troubled young men. The police and FBI eventually identified 15 victims — some living in a group home and two others so disabled that they had been placed in conservatorships.

They arrested Bemer, 67, and William Trefzger, 76, of Westport for patronizing trafficked prostitutes, and King, 55, of Danbury for procuring the victims.

Bemer could not be charged with assaulting the Glastonbury victim because the criminal statute of limitations had run out.

“Unfortunately, the criminal acts of pedophile sex trafficker Bemer keep rearing their ugly heads,” Faxon said. “It is most disappointing to the courageous victim here that Bemer escaped prosecution for his sadistic acts because the sexual abuse and molestation occurred so long ago. Our client has been worried for decades that Bemer or one of his co-conspirators would seek reprisals if any of this abuse was disclosed. Now that Bemer is a convicted sex offender it is time to deplete Bemer’s finances so he doesn’t have the wealth to violate any more children.”

Bemer’s lawyer was not immediately available.

Faxon said the victim in the new suit lived near one of Bemer’s businesses. When the victim appeared one afternoon and asked for a job, Faxon said he was told to return later that night at 11 p.m. When he returned, Faxon said Bemer abused him and the abuse continued.

Bemer was convicted by a jury in 2019 of four counts of patronizing a trafficked person and one count of criminal liability for trafficking a person. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but is free while he appeals. Bemer had settled a suit by one of his victims before his trial began.