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Police: German woman said NC man she met online kept her close, prevented her from leaving

North Carolina police say a man charged with human trafficking kept a German woman he met online within arm's reach after taking away her money and phone.

A first court appearance was scheduled Tuesday for 45-year-old Robert Whiteside, who lived in a hidden bedroom inside the suburban Raleigh warehouse where he refurbished bathtubs. He was charged with sexual servitude involving an adult victim and assault by strangulation.

Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth says Whiteside kept the 34-year-old German woman at his side after she arrived in North Carolina last Wednesday.

Police said Tuesday the hidden bedroom was accessible by pushing on a warehouse wall. It was part of a small apartment with a lock on the inside, but none on the outside that would allow it to hold a captive.

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