Human trafficking victims rescued, man charged

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Christopher Bauda

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – State investigators and Louisville Police have rescued two women — ages 17 and 19 — who were victims of an alleged human-trafficking operation and charged one man, according to Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

The state received information Wednesday from Norton Children’s Hospital, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and a Louisville advocate concerning the possible case. State and local law enforcement set up a joint operation with the Special Victims Unit to rescue the minor.

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As a result, 34-year-old Christopher M. Bauda, of Louisville, is charged with human trafficking of a minor less than 18 years of age, which is a Class B felony, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, which is a Class C felony,  (Class C felony), and prohibited use of electronic communication system to procure a minor for sexual purposes, which is a Class D felony.

He was arrested Wednesday night on the way to take the two women to a hotel where he thought he was meeting someone who intended to buy them, according to news reports at Louisville news outlets who cited arrest warrants.

According to reports, investigators say Bauda sold a 17-year-old girl and an adult online and posted ads that included nude images of the juvenile.

Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues, Cameron said

The Cabinet for Health and Families Services and state agencies are providing support and placement for the minor victim, and the young adult will receive assistance from a victim advocate, Cameron said.

“Human trafficking can occur in any neighborhood and in any community, and when we learn of a potential trafficking situation, our investigators work to safely rescue the victims and end their exploitation,” Cameron said. “I want to commend the hard work of DCI Detective Ricky Lynn in stopping this perpetrator from inflicting further harm. I also want to recognize the incredible efforts undertaken by Norton Childrens Hospital, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and a local victim advocate and acknowledge the significant role they played in alerting us to this terrible situation.”

Investigators have learned that Bauda may have trafficked other victims and urges anyone with information to contact the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Investigation Unit at (502) 696-5369 or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888