Connecticut volunteer firefighter and 911 dispatcher Frank Meyer committed suicide Tuesday while out on bail for allegedly participating in sex trafficking and keeping a boy as a sex slave for more than a decade.
Meyer, 39, of West Haven, Conn., was charged Feb. 28 in Vermont on aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking charges following his arrest during a sting operation in Windsor County, NBC Connecticut reported.
Police were called to a possible suicide in Newfane, Vt., around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when Vermont state troopers found Meyer’s body, according to the Hartford Courant.
Brett Bartolotta, 42, of Cavendish, Vt., was charged along with Meyer in the sex trafficking case.
They are accused of bribing a 12-year-old boy with money and gifts to perform sex acts on them, CBS Connecticut reported. The boy, now 25, was allegedly kept as a "sex slave" until last year.
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Bartolotta, a former West Haven volunteer firefighter, first encountered the boy and offered to sell the 12-year-old a dirt bike that he could pay for in weekly installments, NBC New York reported.
The sex began when the boy couldn’t come up with a payment, according to the network.
Bail was set at $50,000 for both men Friday; each pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Last week, Meyer was suspended from his job as a volunteer fire captain in West Haven after the allegations emerged, the Courant reported.
The boy told police Bartolotta and Meyer at first asked him to perform one sex act, but that later escalated to bondage, sex with another man, and young people, according to the paper. The 25-year-old claimed he performed “hundreds” of sex acts.
Meyer also allegedly brought teenagers from Connecticut to Vermont for sex acts, including “bondage scenarios” with “an unknown female in CT,” the Courant reported, citing the arrest affidavit.