Bath, NY (Star-Gazette) --A Florida woman used careful planning and a coded message to outwita New York man accused of kidnapping her, then keeping her as asex slave in the home he said he shared with his grandparents, accordingto court documents.
Brandon Todd, 19, of Ontario County, is charged in U.S. District Court inRochester with interstate kidnapping. Court papers allege Todd kidnapped the victim in San Diego in April, brought her to New York, then kept her inhis bedroom at his grandparents' home until her mid-May escape in Bath.
"Underwhat I've been taught, ... she wasn't allowed at any time to leave mysight," Todd allegedly said to an FBI agent who asked about theimprisonment.
Heis further accused of asking the FBI to help him find her after she gotaway, and of suing her in Steuben County Family Court over hospitalbills related to her escape plan, in which she faked an asthma attack toget away from the home.
SteubenCounty District Attorney Brooks Baker said Todd has been charged withsecond-degree perjury, a class E felony, in the family court matter.
The details in this article come from the criminal complaint against Todd filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester.
Thevictim said that on April 19, she took a bus from West Palm Beach,Florida, to San Diego to see her mother, get a car and look for a job.
Toddgot on the bus sometime before it reached San Diego, sat next to thewoman and wouldn't leave her alone. When they got to San Diego, hesuggested they get a hotel, and she agreed, hoping to call someone sheknew to pick her up from the hotel.
Onthe way to the hotel, Todd told her he was in the Latin Kings gang andthat she shouldn't try to escape, or she or her family would faceretribution, according to the complaint.
Afterthey got to the hotel, Todd took her to Walmart and bought a machete, aknife and some clothes for her to change into. They went back to thehotel, and he raped her, with the machete next to the bed, according tothe complaint. Todd also took her phone, broke it in three pieces andplaced the pieces in different spots, saying he didn't want them to betracked, she said.
After two days in California, Todd took the victim on a bus bound forRochester, telling her that he would have "50 dudes" show up and"shake" her mom if she didn't go with him.
InRochester, they were picked up by a man she was told was Todd'sgrandfather. Todd referred to the victim by a different name in hisgrandfather's presence. The grandfather never spoke to her or looked herin the eye, she said. She was terrified, according to what she told theFBI agent who investigated the case.
Toddtook her to his bedroom in his grandparents' house in Naples, NY and kepther locked there for about two and a half weeks, except for a few tripsaway from the home, she told the FBI.
Whenshe wanted to use the bathroom, Todd would follow her there, watch asshe used the toilet, then marched her back to his bedroom, she said.
Shewas only allowed to sleep from midnight to 4 a.m. on Todd's floor. Toddbeat her with his belt, stomped her foot with steel-toed boots andthreatened to kill her or her mother. He also raped her several times aday, she said.
InTodd's bedroom, Todd used phones to make arrangements for drug deals andto receive money, she said. He also called the FBI agent who laterarrested him, sometimes putting the calls on speakerphone so she couldhear.
Todd toldher he was working with "the feds" as a confidential informant, and thatshe was also working with the feds. He said if she spoke to anyoneother than the FBI, she would be arrested and charged with a crime.
Calls to the FBI
FBISpecial Agent Barry Couch said in late April or early May he received aphone call from Todd, who said he wanted to give the FBI informationabout a human sex trafficking ring.
Toddcalled back daily for about two weeks, telling Couch and two FBI taskforce officers that he was involved with the trafficking.
Toddsaid he recruited girls and women for the organization, according tothe complaint. He said the reason he called the FBI was because he hadrecruited a woman and started to have personal feelings for her, and hedidn't want her to be involved in the trafficking. He also said hewanted to help other victims get out of the ring.
A large topic of conversation with the FBI was an unnamed missing person that Todd said he had information about.
Oneof the places that Todd took the victim was a public library in Naples,according to the complaint. Once, he took her to a drug deal there, andshe realized she was in Naples, N.Y., according to the complaint. Sheused a pay phone and computers at the library to tell her boyfriend thatshe was in danger. She also told him the library's address.
The victim knew she had to get away and came up with a plan.
OnMay 12, she faked an asthma attack, hoping that Todd would take her to ahospital. He took her to Ira Davenport Hospital in Bath.
Onthe way to the hospital, she told Todd she was calling a friend to sayshe was OK. Instead, she called her boyfriend. The victim "was crypticin the call, but was able to tell (her boyfriend) that Todd was takingher to a hospital," according to the complaint.
Todd waited at the hospital while she was treated, according to the complaint.
Atone point, someone at the hospital tried to discharge the victim.According to hospital records cited in the complaint, the victim begged,"please don't make me leave; he is dangerous and I have been trapped inhis house for the last three weeks."
Whenstate police came to speak to her, the hospital records said she wasweeping, and that a "young man" who was outside the room, waiting forher, had left.
Atthe hospital, the victim told state police she was working with the FBI.Because of what Todd told her earlier about how she might be arrestedfor speaking to anyone other than the FBI, she was too afraid to tellthe state police about her ordeal, according to the complaint.
Someone from the hospital called her boyfriend, who picked her up. They drove back to Florida.
After the escape
Inmid-May, Todd called the FBI and said he was hoping they would help himfind the victim, who he thought might be in a hospital or shelter.
OnJune 18, Todd filed a lawsuit against the victim in Steuben CountyFamily Court after hospital bills came to his home after the escape. Inthe suit, he claimed that she was his fiancee, according to thecomplaint.
On June 28, Todd called the FBI again, this time saying he wanted toprovide information about drug activity and seeking immunity. Thediscussion moved to the woman he had asked the FBI to help locate. Toddsaid the woman was the victim, identified her by name, and said hegained her trust over drinks, and later he started falling in love withher, according to the complaint.
Couch asked Todd if he ever had to threaten somebody to stay with him and how the threats worked.
"Youuse force, use weapons, use knives, you know, give ' em a beating, youknow, threaten their families to start," Todd allegedly said on arecorded call. "I've seen a couple of girls bleed before."
Couchspoke to the victim and filed a criminal complaint. Todd was arrestedJuly 10 and appeared that day in U.S. District Court in Rochester. TheU.S. Attorney's Office asked that Todd be held, based on his risk offlight and danger.
Ata hearing Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Rochester, Toddasked for a new lawyer to represent him, the court clerk's office said.Todd was sent back to jail. No date is set for his next appearance.
Todd is charged in Steuben County with second-degree perjury, a class E felony, in the family court suit against the victim.
"Thisis one of those rare cases where we actually have enough outsidewitness testimony to show the family offense petition is patentlyfalse," said Steuben County District Attorney Baker. "He is in federalcustody, so the federal kidnapping charge still is the primary, and byfar the most significant, offense he is facing."