WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A judge denied bond for Robert Miner Tuesday. The 27-year-old is accused of using violence to force women into sex for personal profit.
After more than two years of exploiting young women investigators arrested him Sunday. He is accused of recruiting victims by using online advertisements to hire young women as dancers or companions.
According to court documents, Miner instead threatened the women with physical harm if they didn't perform sex acts for money.
The documents show at least five victims between the ages of 18 and 22 reported being forced into sex for money at hotels in Broward and Palm Beach County.
(READ: Mobile users can view court documents here)
In one case, a woman said she was forced to have sexual encounters with about 100 men over the course of four days.
Another woman told investigators Miner flew her to Las Vegas to prostitute and then forced her to brand his name on her arm.
“It’s an easy case if they can find someone who’s trafficking underage minors,” said Becky Dymond.
Becky Dymond helps women who were victims of sex trafficking get back on their feet. She said it’s easier to prosecute a case when it involves minors, so this case could present a challenge.
“A lot of times, it’s more difficult to prosecute a case for someone who’s an adult. A lot of times the adults are way more afraid of the trafficker then they are the police. Then there’s how to convince a jury that they were trafficked against their will,” Dymond said.
Dymond opened a safe house where she helps women get with mental health counseling and trauma therapy.
“The most common mental health issues for someone who’s in trafficking is anxiety, depression and PTSD,” Dymond said. “Anxiety and depression will remit spontaneously within six weeks of safety. It’s amazing what safety will do.”
Dymond believes today people are more aware of what sex trafficking is, and that’s because it’s happening everywhere.
“Just the numbers that we could come up with for erotic massage parlors, escort services, just those numbers we estimate between 2,000-2,500 women being trafficked in Palm Beach County," she said.
Documents show Miner has no record of having any source of income, but bank account records show over the past two years he’s deposited over $225,000.
A judge told Miner Tuesday he cannot contact any of his victims, and he was told to turn in all of his passports.
His attorney, who is a relative, said Miner has a lot of support from his family who is standing by him.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.