Deputies: Lake County men held teen girl as sex, drug slave

July 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two accused pot farmers in Lake County are under arrest for the kidnap and rape of a teenage girl. It happened at a marijuana operation northeast of Clearlake. Police were stunned to discover how a teen was imprisoned against her will.

The girl is now safe in protective custody while her two accused kidnappers are facing federal charges for using the teen as a sex slave and holding her for days in a locked metal box.

Pictures show the extensive marijuana grow operation that sheriff's deputies uncovered in Lake County. 1,400 pot plants were seized, along with a cache of 22 weapons including assault rifles, pistols, and lots of ammo.

The property's owner, 30-year-old Ryan Balletto, and his associate, 25-year-old Patrick Pearmain, were arrested. But a closer look uncovered something more sinister.

Both men are accused of holding a 15-year-old girl captive as a sex slave on the marijuana farm.

Deputies found a homemade wooden rack used for sexual bondage on the property.

According to a federal complaint, when the teen wasn't cutting and drying the pot plants she was locked for days in a four foot long metal toolbox, which had been "altered to imprison a human."

The documents also state that "Balletto told her she was a 'trooper' because she didn't scream in the box."

The complaint says the teen was told "not to (expletive) up" because both men had a "whole lot of money on the (marijuana) grow."

The teen was reported missing from Los Angeles in April. The LAPD believes Balletto kidnapped the girl for sex.

It's not clear when the girl first went missing. She called police at some point to tell them she was okay. That call was traced to a motel in west Sacramento where she was found safe and the two suspects were arrested.


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