OCALA, Fla. — A Fort Worth man is in the Marion County jail facing 30 counts of human sex trafficking after a woman claimed she was held captive for as many as eight years.
The woman was rescued by Ocala police over the weekend.
The victim told police she met 41-year-old Alvin Harris in Texas several years ago, and thought he was going to help her.
Instead, she says he took her identification cards, drugged her, attacked her, and wouldn’t allow her to have money or buy her own food.
Police were first alerted to the situation Saturday after receiving a call about a man chasing a woman through the parking lot at the Equus Inn.
Donna Guinn, Victim Advocate Supervisor for the Ocala Police Department, says responding officers noticed signs of possible trafficking.
“Totally sacred. She had a situation where that person had ultimate control over her, including withholding food from her,” Guinn said.
Police worked to build a rapport with the victim and eventually, she told the full story of what happened.
She told investigators she met Harris as many as eight years ago, and claimed he acted as though he would help her.
Instead, she claims he started to “isolate her from her family by threatening violence to her and to them and began confiscating her government issued identification.”
The victim said she would open credit accounts and take out loans in her name, and wasn’t allowed to have control of any money or even buy herself food.
She told police Harris forced her into prostitution and sexually abused her.
“Usually it’s force, fraud or coercion,” Guinn said. “All of those are sometimes factors that are in play.”
Police found Harris in possession of the victim’s ID cards. He’s now facing 30 counts of human sex trafficking in addition to individual counts of sexual battery and domestic assault.
Guinn says she’s thankful someone in the community stepped up to report something was wrong.
“We owe them a debt of gratitude for seeing something and realizing something was happening and having the courage to call,” Guinn said.
The victim’s parents said they’ve been trying to get her home for the past three years. She’s since received assistance with food, shelter, and travel arrangements.
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