Sex-trafficking victim confronts ringleader in court

Anjuli Davis reports

- At 62 years old, Robert Wyche appeared in front of judge Monday afternoon looking tired and weathered.

After nearly two years awaiting trial in jail, he decided to take a plea deal. But before the man accused of running a major sex trafficking ring in Pinellas County started his 10-year prison sentence, one of his victims took to the podium to send her aggressor off with a powerful farewell.

"This man, Robert Wyche, is a very violent and manipulative person," the woman said, trembling, during court proceedings Monday.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was taken in by Wyche when she was just 23 years old.

"I prostituted, I brought the money to him. He took care of my needs. Drugs, alcohol, and a roof over my head," she continued.

She says leaving wasn't an option. She had no family to turn to and was scared for her life.

"I was beaten. I was tied up. I was held hostage whenever I didn't comply. I have physical scars, as well as mental," she said.

Monday, as she stood before a judge, she looked Wyche in the eye one final time.

"I hate you. I hate you with so much passion," she cried.

She says today is the final page of her troubled past.

"Robert, I just want to say to you: I'm not that broken little girl anymore. Today I have wings that I didn't know I had. Through the grace of God I can fly. I'm living the most amazing life I could ever have," she said.

The victim who spoke in court says she's been sober for three years, has a steady job, and has reconnected with her family.

Following the 10 years in prison, Wyche will be on probation for 10 more years and will have to register as a sex offender.

Wyche's sentence was the result of a 16-month investigation that involved the Clearwater Police Department, Largo Police Department, the Florida Attorney General's Office, and statewide prosecutors.
 

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