Sarasota deputies capture man accused of molesting, locking up teenage girls

A Sarasota man accused of molesting a teenage girl and keeping another teen girl locked up for more than a year has been arrested in St. Petersburg.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office took 43-year-old Dwight Bainbridge into custody Friday after searching for him for over two weeks.

Investigators with the Department of Children and Families interviewed a 16-year-old Booker High School student last month after deputies said she told them she was molested and sexually battered by Bainbridge.

Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for Bainbridge’s home, on Webber Road in Sarasota. When detectives searched the home, they found a padlock on the outside of a door, later discovered to be where Bainbridge held another teen girl for a year and a half.

Detectives said Bainbridge and his girlfriend, Jessica Brambilla locked the girl in her bedroom because they believed she would “bring boys to the house,” according to Brambilla’s arrest affidavit. 

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Inside the bedroom, they found a bed with “limited bedding” and a bucket filled with urine. Bainbridge allegedly lived at the home with his daughter and Brambilla, along with her 20-year-old son William Land, and four other children.

Bainbridge, Brambilla and Land allegedly took turns letting the child out of her bedroom twice a day to use the bathroom and give her food, detectives learned. They eventually placed a bucket in her room after she urinated on the floor, they said.

The girl was allowed to eat twice a day, officials said, and her meals included plain oatmeal, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two cups of water, and multivitamins. They said she was home-schooled while she lived there, but, as punishment, lessons were temporarily discontinued. The longest her school privileges were halted was four months. 

Recently, she was confined to her bedroom for 24 hours a day, and was only allowed to bathe once a week, deputies said.

The girl was described as “malnourished, pale, dirty, and her dental hygiene was very poor,” one sergeant described.

Detectives said Brambilla admitted to locking her in the bedroom and restricting her bathroom privileges but said the actions were Bainbridge’s idea.

Brambilla was arrested for aggravated child abuse. It's unclear whether she was aware of the alleged sexual battery and molestation. 

Bainbridge has been in and out of state prison during the last two decades. Arrest reports for Bainbridge describe, among other crimes, a brutal sexual assault and strangulation in 2012.

After his release, he and Brambilla moved into the home on Webber Road.