On Dec. 3, authorities arrested a Florida man for allegedly kidnapping and raping 16-year-old girl he met on the internet.
Travis Burton, 30, told police the teenager agreed to have sex with him after he offered to pay $300, reports the Daily Mail.
But when they met at an empty home in Davenport, Florida, the two fought about money and Burton allegedly punched the girl. Holding the minor at knifepoint, she said Burton cut off her underwear, wrapped a dog leash around her neck and raped her four times.
Burton then put her in a truck, drove her to another area and allegedly abandoned her in the truck.
The teenager's suspected pimp, Miguel "Angel" Ramirez, called the police after she failed to return home, reports WFLA.
"I’m not convinced at all that we weren’t going to have a murder had it not been for our deputies," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "It’s just by the grace of God she’s not dead right now."
Authorities arrested and charged Burton with sexual battery on a minor, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated child abuse and soliciting for prostitution.
He is currently being held in jail for at least 179 days after a judge charged him with being in contempt of court, reports the Daily Mail.
Burton has a long criminal history, including 25 previous felonies, 12 previous misdemeanors and a prison sentence. They include burglary, assault with a weapon, stalking, theft and illegal drug possession.
Ramirez is also facing charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He also reportedly dropped the 16-year-old girl off at Burton's so she could use drugs.
Upon hearing the news, members of the local community were shocked.
"Any parent, like I have my teenage daughter, so if something happened like that I would be devastated," said neighbor and parent Jessica Santiago.
The news comes just after a 41-year-old Swedish man was convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Swedish court on Nov. 30 for a similar crime, reports The Associated Press.
Bjorn Samstrom was found guilty of threatening young teenagers in Canada, Britain and the U.S. to perform sexual acts in front of webcams between 2015 and 2017.
While Samstrom never met the teenagers in person, he was found guilty of rape, sexual coercion and other charges.
Although Samstrom admitted to coercing the minors, he does not believe his actions constitute rape.
"He has been convicted of crimes which he does not consider he is guilty of. So it is very possible that he appeals," defense lawyer Kronje Samuelsson said.