A Sarasota man was found guilty Friday of six felony charges, including human trafficking.
This is the first case locally where a suspect has been found guilty of human trafficking, according to the Sarasota Police Department.
Ronald McBride, 22, was found guilty of human trafficking (sexual), aggravated assault with a weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, robbery with a firearm, false imprisonment and sexual battery. All charges stem from a December 2015 case, police said.
According to a report, officers made contact with a woman Dec. 29, 2015, in the 3300 block of North Tamiami Trail. The woman said her boyfriend, McBride, went to a backyard where she was, pointed a handgun at her face and said: “Where is it? Where is the money?”
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According to the report, when the woman still refused, McBride started hitting her with the gun all over her face, back, and legs while she was in the fetal position on the ground. The victim told police if she didn’t make a certain amount of money for a sexual act, McBride would beat her up or have another girl beat her up.
“I have to give all the money I make to McBride because he says he owns me,” the victim told officers, according to the report.
Sarasota Police Capt. Corinne Stannish of the Criminal Investigations Division said: “This is a victory for the Sarasota Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office 12th Judicial Circuit and our partners Selah Freedom on behalf of all victims of human trafficking.”
McBride is expected to be sentenced in September.