One of the four men arrested last year in a sting of what Pinellas authorities call a “sex trafficking ring” goes on trial today. Colin Dyer, 37, faces charges of human trafficking, as well as sexual battery. He is described as the “wingman” for the leader of the group, Kenyatta Cornelous, who faces the same charges but whose trial date has not yet been set.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Cornelous and Dyer forced young women, often violently, into prostitution and they were also expected to work 12-14 hours, 6 days a week servicing customers sexually in VIP rooms of the strip club Vegas Showgirls. A representative denied prostitution took place at the club.
One young woman reported she had been raped several times by both men. On one occasion, she was drugged and raped so violently that her injuries resulted in a miscarriage of her first trimester pregnancy. The womens’ outside contact and finances were controlled by the men, whom the woman reported also fed the women oxycodone pills for injuries and to “calm” them.
The victim, who is not a minor but is under 21, allegedly made at least one escape attempt that was thwarted by Dyer, who is a formidable 6 foot 6. However, during a phone call with her father which was closely monitored, Cornelous became distracted and the victim begged her father to “come save me” and told him about the club. Posing as a customer, the victim’s father was able to spirit the vIctim away from the club, despite her fears of being killed.
Jury election begins for the trial of Dyer today. Cornelous, the alleged “ringleader” , has not yet had a trial date set .