A state law passed in 2016 to combat human trafficking has resulted in more arrests while raising local awareness of the often-invisible crime, which has been called modern-day slavery, experts say. Trafficking is one of the biggest challenges faced by law enforcement, and one that especially benefits from public awareness, said Krishna Patel, who worked with the U.S. attorney’s office for Connecticut on trafficking cases.
Simon Hessler appeared Wednesday in Manchester Superior Court, where his case was transferred to Hartford Superior Court, which handles more serious matters. Charged last month with attempting to set up two days of “limitless sex” with a person he thought was a 10- to 12-year-old girl, Hessler was held on bail of $1 million for a court appearance set for Dec, 27.
Like many victims of a Connecticut sex trafficking ring that preyed on troubled young men and teenage boys for more than 20 years, Samuel Marino never told his family or police about being coerced into sexual relations with much older men.
An Ellington man and Manchester hotel owner arrested on attempted sex trafficking charges allegedly had a “sex dungeon” on one of his properties, according to Connecticut State Police. Simon Hessler, 46, was arrested Tuesday after an undercover investigation into underage human sex trafficking.
A Milton man accused of trafficking women for sex in four states has pleaded guilty in federal court. Duhamel Cassagnol, 30, is due to be sentenced Dec. 18 on charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; engaging in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; and transporting an individual for prostitution in federal court in Boston.