Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Detective at human trafficking trial says suspect detailed how dancers' lives were controlled

LARGO — The man on trial in a sexual battery and human trafficking case admitted that exotic dancers who stayed in his apartment were not allowed to leave, have visitors or make telephone calls, a detective testified Wednesday.

The only exceptions were when leaders of the trafficking group drove the dancers to work in strip clubs, to get their nails done, or to get food or other items, said the Pinellas sheriff's detective, whom the Times is not identifying because he works undercover.

This testimony came in the second day of trial for Colin Anthony Dyer, 37. Authorities say Dyer was a player — but not the ringleader — in a scheme to force young women into prostitution at a strip club.

The detective said Dyer had agreed to speak to him, with a lawyer present, in an interview that lasted about six hours. Under cross-examination on Wednesday, the detective acknowledged Dyer told him those things after he said Dyer "would be a better witness than a defendant" in the case — perhaps hinting that he wouldn't be charged.

Dyer is expected to take the stand in his own defense when the trial resumes today.

Also on Wednesday, the 19-year-old woman who said she was raped and beaten by Dyer, and forced to be a prostitute in the Vegas Showgirls strip club near St. Petersburg, acknowledged that she had been working since she was 15 as an exotic dancer.

The woman said she lied to her parents about where she was when dancing, and that she lied to the club managers about her true age.

She said she worked at clubs called Utopia and Atlantis, beginning at age 15, and she worked at another club called Baby Dolls when she was 18.

The woman said the ordeal in which she was beaten, raped and forced to work as a prostitute inside Vegas Showgirls began Feb. 16, 2009, and lasted 10 days.

Her father also testified on Wednesday and told the story of how he rescued his daughter from Vegas Showgirls after getting a secret call from her. He said the staff tried to stop him from removing her, but he rushed her into his car anyway. She called police shortly afterward.

Authorities say Dyer was part of a group led by Kenyatta Cornelous, whose trial date has not been set, that recruited women to work at Vegas Showgirls and possibly others. Inside the club, the woman says, she was expected to give sex to customers. A manager at Vegas Showgirls has denied the allegations about prostitution at the club.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at (727) 893-8232 or

Detective at human trafficking trial says suspect detailed how dancers' lives were controlled 06/09/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 10:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New 'cantina-style' Taco Bells to serve alcohol, ditch drive-thrus by 2022


    Taco Bell is ditching drive-thrus and adding alcohol.

    Taco Bell plans to open more than 300 "cantina style" stores across the country that ditches the drive-thru and adds alcohol. [Times Files]
  2. Late Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella was a fighter until the end

    Swimming Preps

    At swim meets, Cailin Cannella would race side-by-side with her breastroke competitors, their heads bobbing in near unison.

    Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella, here at age 13, still was practicing last year after finding out she had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). [Times 2016]
  3. Gators roundtable: Was that really a Hail Mary?


    Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks' last-second heave beat Tennessee Saturday in Gainesville, but was it a Hail Mary, typically a pass made in desperation with little chance of success? The Times' college football coveage team weighs in:


    Feleipe Franks #13 of the Florida Gators celebrates with his teammates after he threw a 63-yard pass at the end of the game to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers 26-20 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
  4. Ernest Hooper: Hillsborough marks 100th anniversary of historic photo collection


    Everyone ends up with a favorite

    Or two or three or 10.

    Rest assured, however, no one who adores Tampa Bay, appreciates art or cherishes history can explore the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection without storing at least one snapshot in the mental scrapbook.

    Part of the Burgert Brothers collection now featured through the Hillsborough Public Library shows a beer garden on Central Avenue in Tampa from July 1942. [Burgert Brothers collection]
  5. Tonight: St. Petersburg's six City Council candidates face off


    ST. PETERSBURG — Politics took a break in Hurricane Irma, but now it's time for City Council races to get going. The Council of Neighborhood Associations is set to host a candidate forum for the six candidates vying for three council seats at stake in November.