SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A Spartanburg County man was arrested after he was accused of buying a 19-year-old woman as a “sex slave” then clamping a metal collar around her neck and threatening to brand her, according to the South Carolina U.S Attorney’s Office.
Robert Hubert, 66, was arrested in his Roebuck home and made his initial appearance in court in Greenville last week, according to South Carolina Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek A. Shoemake.
Hubert is charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Alfonso Orozco Juarez, 35, was also arrested as part of the investigation, Shoemake said.
Juarez was arrested at his home in Dallas and made his initial appearance in court in Dallas on Wednesday.
Shoemake said that, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday afternoon, Juarez contacted the Santa Fe-based victim via a dating app in 2019.
In September 2019, they met in person inside a Dallas motel room, where Juarez pistol-whipped the victim, bruising her hand and jaw, the complaint said.
The complaint said Juarez later gave her a “slave name” and threatened to kill her and her family if she did not consent to being sold for sex.
At one point, Juarez pointed an unloaded gun at her head and pulled the trigger, according to the complaint.
Shoemake said the complaint said after repeatedly selling the victim for commercial sex, Juarez advertised her as a “slave” on a fetishism website, where he offered to sell her to the highest bidder.
Hubert used the screen name “The Darkest Lord” and offered $5,000, according to the complaint.
The complaint said in text messages with Hubert, Juarez referred to the victim as “the property” and bragged that she “submitted fully” after he “pistol whip[ped]” her.
According to the complaint Juarez, wrote, “She’s totally dependent on me” and Hubert responded “SWEET. I will take the slave.”
Shoemake said the men met up at a gas station in Dallas, where Hubert put the victim in his car to drive her to his home in South Carolina.
The complaint said after Hubert clamped a metal collar around her neck, threatened to brand her, and provided her with a list of “fetishes he likes,” the victim texted Juarez, pleading for help.
Shoemaker said the texts were as follows:
"'I’m afraid if I don’t do something, he’s going to hurt me,' she said.
“'Endure what you have to,” he responded. ‘He’ll punish you whip you...but not kill you.’"
Shoemake said Hubert had a room in his home he described as a “dungeon.”
According to the criminal complaint, Hubert required the victim to remove her clothes and “be naked all the time.”
It said the victim persuaded Hubert to let her call her parents.
“The victim’s father begged Hubert to let his daughter go, but Hubert informed him that he had purchased the victim for $5,000 and demanded $5,000 back in exchange for her safe return,” Shoemaker said.
Shoemake said Hubert sent the victim’s father a “contract,” signed by both Juarez and Hubert, as proof of the “sale.”
Hubert eventually allowed the victim to leave on a bus, Shoemake said.
If convicted, both Hubert and Juarez face up to life in federal prison.
“This victim endured horrific abuse at the hands of these defendants. It’s unthinkable and frankly, difficult to learn that this type of thing is happening in our District,” Northern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. “I am grateful that our North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force was able to act swiftly and aggressively. The Northern District of Texas and its partners in the District of New Mexico are committed to ending the scourge of human trafficking, one brutal case at a time.”
“Anyone that is involved in human trafficking activities – either as a member of a transnational criminal organization, a business owner exploiting his/her employees, or a street-level pimp – should be viewed as a vicious predator,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Dallas. These despicable people who enrich themselves by exploiting the innocent have no place amongst law-abiding citizens and HSI will always combat it with every resource at our disposal. We will continue to collaborate with any law enforcement agency at any level of government in our shared efforts to bring human traffickers to justice."