Arizona man charged with kidnapping Utah girl and keeping her as his 'pet'
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KUTV) - The Utah Attorney General's Office in 5th District Court charged an Arizona man Monday with aggravated kidnapping and human trafficking of a St. George girl.
Raymond Burk, 38, was charged with two counts of first-degree felonies for allegedly taking the 17-year-old girl to his Phoenix, Ariz. home with the intent of keeping her as his "pet."
According to a probable cause statement, the girl was staying with her father in the St. George area when she posted messages to an internet application stating she was depressed and wanted someone to pick her up.
Someone claiming to be a 20-year-old male named “Carter” responded and said he would oblige.
The man communicated via the internet application several times and made plans with the girl, assuring her she would be happy with him.
The man said he would take her to his house in Leeds, Utah, and return her home within two days.
The teen initially told the man that she was 18, but she later revealed she had lied and was 17 years old. The man responded, “Oh, even better," according to court documents.
Burk allegedly arrived at the girl’s father’s house and picked her up. He was 37 at the time and took the girl to a bank where he instructed her to walk in and withdraw money, saying he didn't want his car to be spotted in the parking lot.
After about 45-minutes traveling with Burk, the girl became concerned because Leeds is only about 30 minutes from St. George.
The girl asked Burk if they were still going to Leeds, and he replied, “I lied. I live in Phoenix.”
When the girl asked if Burk was still going to return her home in two days, he replied that he was going to keep her as his “pet” indefinitely, court documents state.
The girl reported she was held against her will during the trip from St. George to Burk’s residence in Phoenix, and subsequently for over a week.
During that time, Burk is accused of having sexual intercourse with the teen several times. The second night she was with Burk, the teen told investigators that she expressed her desire to go home and that Burk “flipped out” and hit her.
She said in court documents that he told her she was “his little pet” and “he was keeping her forever.”
The girl reported that Burk beat her and sexually assaulted her several more times before she was eventually able to escape by accessing his friend’s telephone and putting messages out through social media.
Burk attempted to transport the girl upon learning police were notified of her captivity, but the teen saw police and was able to report what happened and escape.
Burk is also facing charges in Maricopa County, Arizona, relating to the incident that occurred in June 2016. The Utah Attorney General’s Office is currently coordinating this prosecution with authorities in Arizona.