A man from West Haven and a former volunteer firefighter were arrested in Vermont after an investigation into an alleged sexual assault that occurred in Ludlow, VT.
According to Vermont State Police, an adult male victim came forward reporting that he had been repeatedly sexually assaulted since he was 12 years old and had been in a sexual relationship with two men for the past 13 years.
The victim identified the two men as Frank Meyer, 39, of West Haven and Brett Bartolotta, 42, of Cavendish, VT, according to police.
The investigation revealed that the sexual assaults began in 2001 when the 12-year-old boy agreed to buy a dirt bike from Bartolotta.
The victim continued the sexual relationship when he reached the age of consent, according to Vermont State Police.
Further investigation showed the victim was paid money and was given gifts for sex acts, police said.
The boy was sometimes "suspended from Bartolotta's ceiling with ropes, wrapped in cellophane," according to court documents.
Meyer and Bartolotta were arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking. They both appeared in Windsor County Court in Vermont on Thursday.
On Friday, police were camped outside of Meyer's home in West Haven.
"We're just kinda in shock because we'd never expect it in a million years," said neighbor Debbie Papin.
West Haven Center Fire District Chief James O'Brien told Eyewitness News that Meyer is a top-notch firefighter, even considered the "go to" guy.
"Everyone was above board and professional," O'Brien said.
Both Meyer and Bartolotta have deep connections to the West Haven community.
Bartolotta's mother is the principal at Our Lady of Victory School in West Haven.
Meyer, who is also a 911 dispatcher for West Haven, is currently being sued along with the town of West Haven and others for mishandling an emergency call that resulted in a murder/suicide back in 2010.
Meyer was suspended for that but still working as a volunteer firefighter. He also ran the explorer program for teens who want to get involved in firefighting.
Parents told Eyewitness News they were just floored.
"I've never seen or heard anything that would ever given one a clue something would have been going on," said neighbor John Correia.
West Haven police said they are working with Vermont investigators to see if there were any other victims specifically here in Connecticut.
According to the affidavit, the suspects said they did not have any contact with children in Connecticut.
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