Search little help in trafficking case

07/26/2014 9:59 PM

07/26/2014 10:00 PM

A search warrant released Thursday says police have located “several other possible victims” in their case against a Zebulon man charged with sexually and physically assaulting a German woman while holding her captive.

On Friday, however, Zebulon Lt. Scott Finch said no one other than the initial victim has spoken out against Robert E. Whiteside, 45, of 511 Mack Todd Road.

“That’s just people we’ve identified that were (Whiteside’s) girlfriends,” Finch said. “We don’t actually have any additional victims as of yet.”

Whiteside was charged in June with sexual servitude involving an adult victim (human trafficking) and with committing a second-degree sexual offense.

Police say he met his 34-year-old victim through an ad he posted online seeking a companion or wife and arranged for her to come to the United States. He then held the woman against her will for nearly a week at the Zebulon warehouse he rents and pushed her to get money from her estranged husband, according to police.

Finch indicated in the most recent search warrant that he was told by a confidential source Whiteside had a safety deposit box at the SunTrust Bank in downtown Zebulon. Upon searching the box on Tuesday, police found seven registration titles and one boat title and three envelopes containing $20,000 in cash.

The warrant also indicated another source contacted Finch to tell him Whiteside had given power of attorney to a man named Paul Pickard after being taken into custody. Pickard is said to be a business associate of Whiteside and is not considered a suspect in the case, according to Finch.

Pickard attempted to access the box and was turned away on two occasions by bank employees, according to the warrant because the power of attorney documents did not specify that Pickard had access to the contents of the box.


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