A North Carolina man kidnapped a 24-year-old woman and her 8-month-old baby, held them captive in his home for more than a month and used the mother as a sex slave, authorities said.
The Pender County Sheriff's department said it received a 911 call on August 9 from a woman who said she and her child were being held at a home in Willard north of Wilmington.
The call led to the arrest of James Bryan Peterson on charges of assaulting a female, sexual battery and assault by pointing a gun, the sheriff's department said in a press release.
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Peterson, 54, was booked in the Pender County Jail on a $20,000 secured bond and released on Aug. 10 after posting bond.
After authorities obtained a warrant to search Peterson's home, he was arrested again on additional charges including human trafficking, kidnapping, involuntary sexual servitude, and felonious restraint. He's being held on a $2 million bond, authorities said.
The victims are from Honduras and may have been trafficked to the United States by a criminal enterprise. The woman was able to call for help after asking Peterson if she could go outside to feel the sun.
Peterson has not yet entered a plea and is back in court next month. A call to his lawyer seeking comment was not returned.
The woman, who has not been identified, was kidnapped around July 4. According to an arrest warrant, Peterson tased the woman on her stomach, back and thigh with a stun gun.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Kerry Sanders is a Miami-based correspondent for NBC News, covering national and international breaking news and feature stories. He contributes regularly to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “Today” and MSNBC. His work, including reporting on Hurricane Katrina, Haiti's 2010 earthquake, the Chilean miners and Kosovo have earned him multiple awards.