CT police train to recognize sex trafficking - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT police train to recognize sex trafficking

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Bruce Bemer, William Trefzger and Robert King face charges in connection with a sex trafficking ring that operated out of Danbury. (Danbury police photos) Bruce Bemer, William Trefzger and Robert King face charges in connection with a sex trafficking ring that operated out of Danbury. (Danbury police photos)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Sex trafficking is a growing problem and it’s happening in Connecticut.

More and more police officers are being trained on what to look for and how to help.

On Thursday, officials released information about a sex trafficking ring involving wealthy clients and disabled young men.

The same day police officers were being trained on human trafficking, two men were arrested for prostituting young men for sex.

Some of the young men are cared for by the state because they have mental health issues.

One of the men arrested is Bruce Bemer, a 63-year-old, who police say arranged for young men to be brought to him for years. They were young men with mental health problems.

Bemer is also a well-known business man who owns the Waterford Speedbowl and Bemers Petroleum in Glastonbury.

Bemer was arraigned in court on Thursday.

"This has to do with bad friends, various characters,” said his partner Jason McCormick.

This week, police officers learned about what has been going on for a while, and are now finally getting some awareness.

A law passed in Connecticut last year that requires officers to get training on how to recognize victims and provide help. 

"No one in Connecticut should be surprised that there is sex trafficking,” said Raymond Bechard, an anti-human trafficking advocate.

He has worked for human rights groups and has written a book on one of the biggest sex ring busts in Connecticut ---12 men were arrested, and the king pin Dennis Paris is serving a 30-year sentence for taking young girls and getting them hooked on drugs and selling them for sex.

"People say it's in our own backyards now but it’s really on our smartphones. If you go to a website, ordering a girl is like ordering a pizza,” Bechard said.

There are a number of new bills before state lawmakers this year to crack down on human trafficking.

Some require more prison time on prostitution.

Another requires hotels to post signs of what to look for, and if they don't, they would be fined.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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