Conn. Firefighters Arrested for Sex Slavery: Police

One of the suspects worked with the fire department's youth program

By Jennifer Pineiro
|  Friday, Mar 1, 2013  |  Updated 4:50 AM PDT
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Conn. Firefighters Arrested for Sex Slavery: Police

Frank Meyer, of West Haven, and Brett Bartolotta, of Cavendish, Vt., were arraigned in Windsor County Court in Vermont Thursday. They were both affiliated with the West Haven Fire Department.

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A current and former firefighter from the West Haven Fire Department were arrested, accused of forcing a 12 year-old boy into sex slavery in Vermont until he was 25, according to a spokesman for the West Haven Police Department.

Vermont State Police arrested Frank Meyer, 39, and  Brett Bartolotta, 42, in Ludlow, Vermont on Wednesday after a sting operation in which the victim wore a wire.

Police said the firefighters bribed the boy with money and gifts since 2001 to get him to perform sexual favors.

The victim had been in a sexual relationship with the two men for the past 12 years, police said.

Meyer is currently a volunteer firefighter for the West Haven Fire Department at Engine 23 and a 911 dispatcher for the city of West Haven, Fire Chief James O'Brien said.

He has also been involved with the explorer program, a department program for youths and photos online show him standing in front of Explorer Post 3.

The Engine 23 company has been shut down as a precaution, officials said.

Bartolotta was a former volunteer firefighter for the department several years ago and lives in Cavendish, Vermont, according to O'Brien said.

Meyers and Bartolotta are charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking. Their bail is set at $50,000 and both are being held.

They each pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Two weeks ago, two volunteer firefighters from Coventry, Conn. were arrested, accused of having sexual relations with members of the junior firefighter program, a program for teens between 14 and 17 years of age.

Joseph Michael Carilli, 55 of Coventry, the department’s training officer, was charged with sexual assault in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor. No court records are available on Carilli's next court date.

Joe Fragoso, 35 of Coventry, a second lieutenant, was charged with second-degree sexual assault.

Fragoso is due in court on March 21.

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