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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Ocala police arrest 41-year-old man on 30 counts of human sex trafficking

(Update: On October 11, 2022, charges against Alvin Harris were dropped in Marion County Court).

The Ocala Police Department arrested a 41-year-old man from Texas over the weekend who is accused of human sex trafficking.

On Saturday, July 30, an OPD officer responded to the Equus Inn located at 3434 SW College Road in reference to an assault. Upon arrival, the officer observed Alvin Harris yelling at a female victim, and he was chasing her through the parking lot towards State Road 200.

Alvin Harris
Alvin Harris

According to OPD, the victim appeared to be in fear, and the officer intervened. Harris was “very angry,” according to the officer, and he stated that the victim had his car keys.

A witness told investigators that the victim was yelling for help and stating that Harris was hitting her.

During OPD’s investigation, the victim stated that she was “trapped” for many years and was unable to leave. She stated that Harris had made threats to kill her in the past.

While the victim and Harris both resided in Texas, the victim stated that they traveled to various states, including Florida. According to OPD, the victim made multiple statements that were indicative of human trafficking, including not being allowed to own her own items, not being allowed to eat, and not being allowed to have her own money.

An OPD detective responded to the scene to conduct an investigation into the matter. The victim was “visibly nervous” and told the detective that she met Harris approximately six to seven years ago in Texas. She stated that Harris initially acted as if he wanted to help her.

According to the victim, Harris began to isolate her from her family by threatening to harm her and members of her family. She told the detective that Harris confiscated her government-issued identification, including her social security card, and began financially and sexually exploiting her.

The victim stated that she moved around a lot with Harris, which isolated her further from her family. She advised that Harris would give her drug-laced beverages, and he would force her to have sexual intercourse with him.

When Harris became angry with her, the victim stated that he would “go into a rage” and strangle her to the point where she would pass out. She advised that one of these encounters involving sexual and physical abuse had occurred while they were staying at the Equus Inn.

The victim stated that Harris would mandate a dollar amount of $1,000 a day when he needed her to go out and prostitute herself on “calls.” She stated that she did at least 30 of these calls while in Ocala. She told the detective that she would try to make at least $600 to $700 in order to avoid physical abuse from Harris.

The victim mentioned that she was not allowed to keep any money. Harris allegedly only allowed her to have a Cash App account which she was forbidden to withdraw from. He also would allegedly open multiple debit and credit card accounts in her name that she was unable to use. The victim added that Harris created multiple escort sites for her, which used various apps and emails.

According to OPD, the victim stated that she was not allowed to buy food, and her nourishment was left to Harris and “his daily mood or decision.” After Harris was arrested, the victim was taken to a local hospital to be treated for severe dehydration and other medical issues.

OPD’s Victim Advocates arrived on the scene, provided the victim with necessary services, and worked with the victim to get her back home to Texas. The Victim Advocate Unit was able to provide her with a temporary phone, emergency shelter, transportation, food, medical services, counseling services, and travel arrangements for her and her dog.

Harris was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $810,000 bond. He is facing 30 felony counts of human sex trafficking, along with a felony charge for sexual battery and a misdemeanor charge for domestic assault.

A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, August 30 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.