Zebulon Man Charged With Holding Woman At Warehouse

North Carolina police say a man charged with human trafficking kept a German woman he met online within arm's reach after taking away her money and phone.

A first court appearance was scheduled Tuesday for 45-year-old Robert Whiteside, who lived in a hidden bedroom inside the suburban Raleigh warehouse where he refurbished bathtubs. He was charged with sexual servitude involving an adult victim and assault by strangulation.

Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth says Whiteside kept the 34-year-old German woman at his side after she arrived in North Carolina last Wednesday.

Police said Tuesday the hidden bedroom was accessible by pushing on a warehouse wall. It was part of a small apartment with a lock on the inside, but none on the outside that would allow it to hold a captive.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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A man is charged with human trafficking with police saying he was holding a German woman against her will inside a secret room at a suburban Raleigh, North Carolina, warehouse.

Zebulon police on Monday charged 45-year-old Robert Whiteside with sexual servitude involving an adult victim and assault by strangulation.

Police Chief Timothy Hayworth told media outlets that officers received a tip from a man in Germany about his missing ex-wife. Hayworth says it appears Whiteside and the 34-year-old German citizen made contact through an online advertisement he posted seeking a companion.

Investigators went to the warehouse where Whiteside refurbishes bathtubs. Hayworth says investigators found a secret bedroom behind a closet wall.

Hayworth says the woman told police she arrived in Zebulon Wednesday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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