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Jury begins deliberations in human trafficking trial

DANBURY — A six-member jury has begun deliberations in the trial of a Glastonbury businessman charged in connection with what prosecutors say was a human trafficking ring that preyed on mentally ill and intellectually disabled boys and young men.

Jurors in Danbury Superior Court heard closing arguments Monday in the trial of 65-year-old Bruce Bemer, of Glastonbury, and began deliberating later in the day. Discussions are scheduled to continue Tuesday.

Prosecutor Sharmese Hodge told the jury that co-defendant Robert King found the victims at drug rehabs, group homes and other places and brought them to Bemer for sex acts. King has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Bemer, the owner of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl racetrack, has admitted he patronized prostitutes. But his lawyer, Anthony Spinella, denied there was any human trafficking.

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