Suspect in human trafficking case involving teen victim attempted suicide in jail, Salazar says

Inmate is in medically induced coma

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff's Office deputies interrupted an attempted suicide of an inmate recently accused of sex trafficking, officials said.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said Rondell Lee Peterson, who was arrested on human trafficking charges Friday, was found hanging at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center before 3 p.m. Saturday.

The deputy who found him cut him down, according to Salazar, and medical staff began performing lifesaving measures.

He was then transported to University Hospital in critical condition, Salazar said. He is in a medically induced coma and will be moved to the intensive care unit.

"It appears we caught him in time," Salazar said.

RELATED: Two arrested in human trafficking case involving 15-year-old victim from Houston: BCSO

Peterson, 35, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and trafficking of a person.

He and Carolin Mitchell, 18, are accused of taking a 15-year-old girl from Houston against her will and bringing her to San Antonio.

Salazar said Mitchell and the girl first met via social media, and Mitchell and Peterson traveled to Houston for a sex act.

The price agreed upon between the victim and the suspects for the sex act was $2,400, Salazar said after the duo was first arrested Friday, but the victim was not paid the full price.

After they agreed to travel back to Houston to pay her the rest of the money, they allegedly took her against her will.

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While back in San Antonio, Peterson allegedly sexually assaulted the victim twice. He then "dumped her" in Schertz with a small amount of money, Salazar said Friday.

The victim then called 911, and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office took her into custody and began the investigation.

The two suspects were found in an Alamo Heights-area home, where cocaine was also found, Salazar said.

Mitchell is charged with trafficking of a person.

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