NewsPolk County


Deputies: Man tied 16-year-old up with rope, sexually battered her

Posted at 11:54 AM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 17:15:06-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A Haines City man was arrested after deputies say he tied up a 16-year-old girl and sexually battered her.

30-year-old Travis Burton reportedly punched the girl multiple times in the face after she arrived at the residence where he was waiting. Deputies say he bound her with tape, tied her up with rope and cut off her underwear, battering her multiple times.

All the while, neighbors say they didn't hear anything, much-less know the home was even occupied.

"When you see that house empty and in one second you see all the police over there ,you say what’s happening, nobody was supposed to be living there," Rosa Gonzalez, a long-time neighbor said.

Gonzalez said she woke up around 2 a.m. Saturday morning to her dog barking. When she looked outside she saw the Burton's home surrounded by deputies. PCSO tells ABC Action News the home belong's to Burton's father who is renovating the property.

When Gonzalez found out what had happened right next to her property, she gasped.

"Oh my gosh gosh, his brother came to my house the next day and said 'No they are accusing him of kidnapping, but the only thing he did was takes my mothers car without permission," Gonzalez said his family immediately denied the accusations but knows Burton has a lengthy criminal history.

The girl said Burton put a knife to her throat and attached a dog leash to her neck as well.

Deputies say Burton then put the girl in a truck and drove until he got stuck in an orange grove.

Polk County Sheriff's Office found the truck later with the girl inside, but Burton had left the scene.

When they found him, he said he had arranged for the girl to meet him after contacting her on the internet. He said he agreed to pay the girl $300 for sex. They reportedly had a disagreement over the money, so she refused to leave, and Burton said it "got a little rough."

Burton was charged with sexual battery on a minor over 12, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated child abuse and soliciting for prostitution. 

"Any parent, like I have my teenage daughter, so if something happened like that I would be devastated," a neighbor and parent, Jessica Santiago, said.

Deputies are also looking into a man named Miguel Angel Ramirez, who has been arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. An affidavit states he dropped the 16-year-old girl off at the home to do illegal drugs. PCSO is also looking into the possibility of human trafficking, but no charges have been filed for that at this time.