California teen allegedly abused, held captive at pot farm

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POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:54am

UPDATED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:57am

Police say 15-year-old was kidnapped, held as a sex slave and forced to work.

Police say a 15-year-old girl kidnapped in California was enslaved at a marijuana grow operation.

Joe Vazquez reports the teen's captors forced her to work and used her as a sex slave.

"That's terrible." says a local resident.

Neighbors in Clearlake can't believe it, but the feds say just beyond this fence here in rural Lake county, right next to a major marijuana grow operation, Ryan Balletto and Patrick Pearmain kept a teenaged girl as a sex slave.

"It's creepy. That's weird," says local neighbor.

The two men are in federal lockup, facing a list of charges that could get them life in prison.

The metal toolbox where the girl was held captive was right next to a trailer on the grow operation property.

The girl tells the cops she spent at least three days locked inside.

"Near the box, the cops found a noose as well as a rack used to hold somebody against their will. They also found other sex devices related to bondage, and the girl tells investigators that the men described her as a "trooper," because she didn't scream while being held inside the box."

Clearlake resident says,"Just disgusting and terrifying. I don't even know what people's heads, why? What could be in someone's head to do that?"

Authorities say the men also forced the 15-year-old to work.

Her job: to cut the marijuana and prepare it to be sold.

The feds say they were already investigating the grow operation when the LAPD called Lake county authorities, alerting them that Balletto had kidnapped a girl who had been reported missing in Los Angeles and that she was being held here in Clearlake against her will.

Along with nearly 1,500 marijuana plants, the cops also confiscated this arsenal, which they described as "the largest and most sophisticated bulk of weapons seized in recent Lake county sheriff's office history."

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