INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis bail bondsman is arrested and accused of human trafficking.
Prosecutors believe the suspect repeatedly abused the justice system and took advantage of female jail inmates.
According to court records, police spoke directly to multiple women who had been inmates at the Marion County jail.
Those women told police the suspect tried to extort them for sexual favors in exchange for their release from jail.
The sign on the suspect’s business says Stout Heating and Cooling, but inside the small building on Tibbs, a woman told police in June she was coerced to perform sexual acts to pay off her bail bondsman.
The victim claims 55-year-old Anthony Stout, who runs the bail bond business, threatened to revoke her bond if she refused.
According to the affidavit, IMPD and the FBI also spoke to a second woman who admitted to having sex with Stout after she paid part of her bond and he paid the rest. That victim also feared she’d be thrown back into a cell if she declined to have sex with Stout.
“It took a tremendous amount of courage for them to come forward and speak to detectives about a person who essentially held their freedom in their hands,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
After being arrested last week, police claim Stout admitted he had a sexual relationship with several women he had bonded out.
Police are still investigating the case and say it’s not clear how many women may have been victims.
“Our detectives think there might be additional victims and we ask if others were victimized by this individual that they call and make a report,” said Foley. “We want to hold him accountable and if there are additional victims out there, we encourage them to come forward.”
Prosecutors also claim Stout made nearly 2,500 calls to the jail which were recorded. In reviewing those calls, police allegedly found multiple instances of Stout either making sexually inappropriate remarks or offering to bond women out in exchange for sexual favors.
In some cases, Stout would allegedly threaten to have women put on lockdown for suicide watch as a punishment if they refused his sexual advances.
Many of those claims are allegedly supported by recordings and text messages.
Police reports show one of the victims filed a police report in March of last year, claiming she was being harassed by Stout to engage in a sexual relationship after being released from jail, but no charges were filed at that time.
In that instance, police think Stout threatened to call the victim’s probation officer and say she was smoking weed to get her sent back to jail.
Due to the fact that there were multiple alleged victims, prosecutors asked for and were granted a higher-than-standard $100,000 bond.
Despite the higher bond, court records show Stout was able to post the bond.
Prosecutors have asked for a 72-hour continuance to file formal charges. An initial hearing has been set for later this week.