Image source: Genesee County Sheriff's Office video - Screenshot
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A 20-year-old pregnant woman was kicked out of her house around Thanksgiving. Her luck appeared to be make a holiday rebound when a stranger offered her a warm meal and a place to stay. However, this was anything but charity.
Michael Barajas, 36, is accused of subjecting the young woman to unimaginable depravities over the course of three weeks.
The sheriff whose team captured the suspect called the story "horrifying" and deemed Barajas "a monster."
What are the details?
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson claimed that this nightmarish ordeal began when Barajas spotted the pregnant victim, unkempt and walking alone. Seizing upon her vulnerability, he began the process of grooming her.
"Grooming is part of this whole process. It started [with] identifying someone who is vulnerable. It started by identifying what the need was. They filled the need and that's when they trap them in," said Swanson.
Barajas, charged in 2018 with first-degree home invasion, lured the victim back to his ramshackle residence with the promise of warmth, food, and a clean place to spend the night. Instead of hospitality, the victim found herself tied to a bed in a barricaded room.
In a disturbing video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Sheriff Swanson walked through the suspect's house, noting how the windows in the room where the victim was kept were screwed shut. The door to the room was deadbolted.
According Swanson, extra to these imprisonment measures, Barajas also told the victim "that if she didn't do everything that he told her to do, that he would bite her neck and rip out her throat."
Barajas allegedly raped and assaulted the victim over the course of three weeks, but he was not alone in this depravity.
“This guy used the opportunity to not only sexually assault but have people come over and traffic her as she was tied forcibly to the bed while they assaulted her,” Swanson explained.
The victim made repeated escape attempts.
The first two times, the victim was shot at and dragged back by her captors.
On the third occasion, the woman reportedly suffered a "medical emergency" related to her pregnancy, which landed her in a hospital.
Nurses at Hurley Medical Center recognized that the victim had been abused and contacted the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team on Dec. 8.
GHOST raided Barajas' residence and arrested him later that day.
According to the Tri-County Times, Barajas has been charged with human trafficking, kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, possession of methamphetamine, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and felony possession of a firearm.
"This guy is a monster," said Swanson. "If you look at the teeth that are filed down and the threats of ripping out a throat, I will say no more."
Barajas remains in jail. Authorities are presently hunting down additional suspects.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.