NC man charged with human trafficking, held woman captive in warehouse

Zebulon police say a German woman was held against her will in a warehouse for five days.

Zebulon police say a German woman was held against her will in a warehouse for five days.

ZEBULON, N.C. — Police arrested a man Monday for human trafficking after they say he was holding a German woman against her will in a secret room in a suburban Raleigh warehouse, according to the Eastern Wake News.

Robert Whiteside, 44, was charged with sexual servitude involving an adult victim (human trafficking) and assault by strangulation.

The woman has reportedly been held captive since June 4. Zebulon Chief Tim Hayworth told the Eastern Wake News it appears Whiteside and the victim, a 34-year-old German citizen, made contact after Whiteside posted an advertisement online seeking a companion or wife. Once the woman arrived, Whiteside took away her financial and communicative resources and held her at the warehouse.

The woman was able to access a computer in the warehouse and emailed someone in Germany, who in turn called the Zebulon Police Department around 8 a.m. Monday. Police investigated and discovered the woman.

“She was very relieved to be with police and away from [Whiteside], and we’ve got her in a safe location now,” Hayworth  told the Eastern Wake News.

Police say it is likely more charges against Whiteside will follow. He was placed in the Wake County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

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