Trucker Charged With Slew of Crimes After Prostitute Says She Was Held Hostage For 8 Months
Brevard County, FL — A trucker is facing a slew of charges including kidnapping after a prostitute says she was held against her will for eight months.
Robert Johnson, 53, of Merritt Island, FL, was arrested on Saturday, November 20, after a woman called the Cocoa Police Department to report she had just escaped being held captive in his semi-truck.
According to local outlet WFTV 9, the alleged victim called police — using Johnson’s cell phone — while he was sleeping inside his truck parked at a Pilot truck stop off State Road 524.
After realizing she had called authorities and given them a description of him, Johnson became angry but let her go.
He was pulled over and arrested a short time later for driving on a suspended license.
Investigators said the alleged victim was looking for work as a prostitute when she first met Johnson in Delaware.
She told police when she first met Johnson he asked where he could purchase crystal meth.
She then agreed to get in Johnson’s truck and give him directions to a location he could obtain the drugs.
When she later asked to be taken home, she claims Johnson told her she no longer had a home and physically assaulted her.
For the next eight months, the woman alleges she was repeatedly raped and held as a prisoner.
“She said she was under constant threat from beatings, sexual assault, gun to her head, constant threats,” said Yvonne Martinez with Cocoa Police Department. “She began to accept that was her fate.”
Johnson denies kidnapping the woman claiming the relationship was consensual.
However, Martinez also indicated investigators corroborated the alleged victim’s story with a minor who was also traveling with Johnson.
The truck driver also allegedly trafficked the minor who is now in protective custody.
Johnson is facing five felony charges including: human trafficking of a minor, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and sexual battery.
His bond has been set at $10,500, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
The FBI is also now investigating this case, according to Martinez.
At the time of his arrest, Johnson was operating a truck registered to Newark, DE-based Isha Brothers Inc.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the general freight hauler owns four power units and employs two drivers.