Marijuana Farmers Arrested for Raping Underage Girl

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A missing Los Angeles teenager was sexually assaulted, kept in a metal box and forced to process marijuana for her two captors, according to a federal criminal complaint filed this week.

Prosecutors said the girl was held by Ryan Balletto, 30, and Patrick Pearmain, 24, who are charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, using a minor in a drug operation and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to prosecutors, the case was blown open when a Los Angeles police detective called Lake County sheriff’s officials asking about a connection between Balletto and the girl.

An initial visit to the Balletto’s 680-acre property in Lake County by deputies on April 29 turned up nothing. But the next day, the girl called sheriff’s deputies back on a cellphone, court documents show.

The girl told authorities she was doing “OK” and was with Balletto in Sacramento. Authorities traced the cellphone to West Sacramento, where police found the girl in a hotel with Pearmain.

Police arrested the two. Police also allegedly found a bag full of marijuana, prescription drugs, condoms and a pregnancy test. Pearmain also had a notebook on him that had an apparent script for the girl to read to police over the phone, authorities claim. Sketches of a marijuana greenhouse and a list of supplies were also found. . .

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