What began as a routine drug investigation quickly turned into a much larger criminal offense for two men in Northern California, surrounding the sexual abuse and captivity of a 15-year-old girl.
The two men behind the captivity are alleged marijuana growers Patrick Pearmain, 24, and Ryan Balletto, 30, from Lake County, CA.
The authorities found a total of three greenhouses with irrigated marijuana plants and the largest collection of weapons in Lake County’s history.
Balleto faces state charges of lewd acts with a minor and Pearmain faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape or robbery and unlawful sex with a child.
According to CNN, the criminal complaint claims that the men would “put her in the box to ‘teach’ her because they had a ‘point to prove.” The report says she was placed in a box that was 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet high to protect the secret of growing marijuana.
The teenager claims that both men “engaged in multiple sex acts with her.”
Authorities refused to comment on the condition of the teenager, but a psychologist told CNN he thinks the girl might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“This is obviously a very traumatic situation for her…It is cruel, cruel and unusual punishment for a 15-year-old girl, and she will undoubtedly need a structured therapeutic environment for what could be years,” said clinical psychologist Mark Burdick, who isn’t involved in the case.