GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (TCD) -- A 36-year-old man faces a slew of charges after he allegedly offered a woman a ride and then assaulted, trafficked, and threatened her.
According to Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson, during the week of Thanksgiving, suspect Michael Barajas allegedly saw a 20-year-old woman walking down the street. She reportedly had recently been kicked out of her house and had not showered in several days. Barajas reportedly pulled up next to her and offered her a ride, as well as "a shower, food, and warmth."
Barajas reportedly took the woman to a home where she was barricaded and tied to a bed. Barajas and other suspects allegedly locked her in the room from the outside and screwed the windows shut so she could not escape. She was reportedly sexually assaulted multiple times and trafficked by different men.
Swanson said the woman tried to escape three times. The first time, she reportedly ran out of an open door, and someone shot at her. On the second try, the suspects dragged her back to the home. She then reportedly suffered a medical emergency and was taken to a nearby hospital.
A nurse at the hospital suspected she was the victim of human trafficking, so the nurse called in the Sheriff’s Office’s G.H.O.S.T. program, which stands for Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team. The team was deployed on Dec. 8, and Barajas was taken into custody.
Swanson said the investigation is still ongoing because there are additional suspects.
Swanson said the woman’s situation became "even worse" because she victim is pregnant.
While she was reportedly held against her will, Barajas allegedly "threatened that if she didn’t do everything that he told her to do, he would bite her neck and rip out her throat."
Barajas filed down his teeth to look like fangs, and Swanson shared photos of Barajas' mouth.
According to Swanson, Barajas allegedly forced the woman to write a letter in which she had to describe Barajas as her "daddy."
"He was trafficking her out. That is not a relationship. That is a complete violation," Swanson said.
Court records show Barajas has been charged with human trafficking — forced labor involving kidnapping, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon, and more.