DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County man is facing charges after deputies say he kidnapped and sexually battered a teenage girl. Deputies say the girl’s pimp is also facing charges following the incident.
The sheriff’s office arrested 30-year-old Travis Burton of Haines City this weekend and charged him with sexual battery on a 16-year-old girl along with several other charges.
Burton was waiting for the girl at an empty home in Davenport early Saturday morning. He tells deputies he had contacted her online and arranged to meet, and agreed to pay her $300 for sex.
Soon after she arrived, deputies say Burton punched her multiple times in the face. Arrest affidavits say he then tied her up with tape, cut off her underwear and sexually battered her four times.
The teenage girl told deputies Burton also put a knife to her throat and attached a dog leash to her neck.
Investigators say Burton later put her in a truck and drove until he got stuck in an orange grove. He’s accused of sexually battering her again in the truck.
“I’m not convinced at all that we weren’t going to have a murder had it not been for our deputies,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “It’s just by the grace of God she’s not dead right now.”
Deputies tell WFLA the teenage girl’s pimp, Miguel “Angel” Ramirez, called police worried when she didn’t come home. Authorities then found the truck with the girl inside. Burton had run from the scene but he was later found.
According to the sheriff’s office, Burton told them he got into a disagreement with the girl over the money he agreed to pay her for sex. He told deputies it “got a little rough” when she refused to leave.
Burton is charged with sexual battery on a minor, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated child abuse and soliciting for prostitution.
The sheriff’s office says he has a lengthy criminal history including burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, vehicle theft and battery on law enforcement.
Ramirez is now also facing charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He told deputies he knows the victim by name and has known her family for the past couple of years. He also says he knows she is in foster care and is not allowed to be around her biological mother right now.
According to deputies, Ramirez told them the girl asked for a ride to a friend’s house in Haines City to smoke a joint. He told deputies he dropped the girl off and left, then returned when he got a call from the victim asking for help.