Zebulon man faces new charge in human trafficking case
Posted June 11
Zebulon, N.C. — A man accused of holding a woman from Germany captive in a Zebulon warehouse faces a new charge in the case.
Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth said Wednesday that Robert Edward Whiteside, 45, has been charged with one count of second-degree sex offense.
He was arrested Monday on two counts of assault by strangulation and one count of sexual servitude of an adult victim after the 34-year-old woman's estranged husband contacted police about an email he received in which she asked for money and hinted that she was in trouble.
Whiteside, who runs a refurbishing business at the warehouse, at 511 Mack-Todd Road, was in the Wake County Detention Center Wednesday morning under a $90,000 secured bond on Monday's charges.
The latest charge, in which he was given a $750,000 secured bond, means he will be in court again Thursday.
Whiteside told a judge Tuesday that his arrest is a misunderstanding and that he is not a troublemaker.
Hayworth said Whiteside and the woman met on a dating website and that she traveled from Germany to meet him.
Police say Whiteside has dated women from other countries and has also traveled to Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Colombia and Peru. Hayworth said there's currently no evidence to suggest he's committed similar crimes but that detectives are still investigating.
Anyone with information that could help investigators can call Zebulon Crime Stoppers at 919-366-3698 or the Zebulon Police Department at 919-823-1818.