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Brandon man threatened victim with release of sex videos, deputies say

Rudolfo Palermo, 40, coerced the victim to have sex with a man and a dog, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic descriptions.

TAMPA — Rudolfo Palermo’s relationship with the person who would later become his victim began as a consensual one, deputies say.

The pair started having sex in November 2019, and Palermo recorded the encounters, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. His partner initially objected to the recording, then agreed when Palermo said he was making the videos for “his own personal enjoyment,” the report says.

Palermo, 40, would soon use the videos to coerce the victim into having sex with another person, the report says. He also forced the victim to perform a sex act on his dog and recorded that incident, too.

Deputies arrested Palermo on a warrant this week near his Brandon home and charged him with a number of felonies. He remained in the Hillsborough County jail Friday with bail set at $368,500. Jail records list his occupation as salesman for a Tampa air conditioning company.

The gender of the victim in the case is unclear because a copy of the arrest reported provided by the Hillsborough County Clerk’s Office is redacted.

In December, Palermo continued to ask the victim for sexual favors, but the person said no, the report says. Palermo then threatened to show the sex videos to the victims’ acquaintances. Palermo also demanded the victim perform a sex act on him and threatened to show the video and photos to the victim’s boyfriend. For even more leverage, Palermo threatened to send the material to immigration officials in an attempt to have the victim deported, according to the report.

That same month, Palermo told the victim to rent a motel room because Palermo was charging someone to have sex with the victim. The victim complied because Palermo again threatened to send out the videos, the report says. Palermo also recorded that sexual encounter.

In an incident in February, Palermo threw the victim to the ground, placed his hands around the victim’s neck and forced the victim to perform a sex act on Palermo’s dog, according to the report. Palermo recorded the incident and told the victim to do a better job next time “or else he would force (the victim) to have sex with his friends,” the report says.

Palermo is charged with extortion, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious battery, sexual cyberharassment, coercion for a commercial sex act by human trafficking, and aiding or abetting another to engage in sexual conduct with an animal.