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Nurse charged with trying to recruit children as sex slaves

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JT Mohler-Avery & Candace Merriam JT Mohler-Avery & Candace Merriam
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VERNON, CT (WFSB) -

Vernon police have arrested a nurse practitioner and his assistant on suspicion of trying to recruit a patient and her daughters to be his sex slaves.

On Oct. 28, Vernon police arrested JT Mohler-Avery, 44, and Candace Merriam, 46, of Hartford on charges they tried to have sex with an 18-month-old child.

The twisted story started in mid-October, when Vernon police said an unidentified patient of Mohler-Avery told them he had tried to recruit her, as well as her four children, for sex.

Police said Mohler-Avery is a Connecticut Licensed Nurse Practitioner who owned and operated CT Family Care LLC, at the Vernon Professional Building, 281 Hartford Turnpike, in Vernon.

After being notified, police immediately launched an investigation into the claims.

"During the course of the investigation, Mohler-Avery sought to arrange for his adult patient/victim to become his sex slave and also have her 18-month-old child participate in the sex acts," said Vernon police Detective James Grady.

According to police, Mohler-Avery wanted to organize a family of sex slaves in exchange for a place to stay and he was using his position as a licensed nurse practitioner to recruit patients to play the part, including a young mother of four and her children, including one that is 18 months old.

"He offered to financially support her and her children for the rest of their lives, in exchange for being his domestic slave," the arrest papers read. "He described the role ... as a person who maintains the home, and is always willing and available to satisfy his sexual needs whenever he wanted, regardless of who was in the room."

According to the 33-page arrest warrant, Mohler-Avery told the woman that he had a compound in Maine for her and her daughter to stay.

Police said the victim even had sex with the suspect to prove to him she wasn't a cop.

Vernon police said it was learned Merriam worked for Mohler-Avery as his personal assistant at the medical practice and was involved in the criminal activity.

On the night of Oct. 28, Mohler-Avery arranged for the victim and 18-month-old to be picked up in Vernon by Merriam for the purpose of having sex with the baby. He told the victim that he wanted to "break her in early," according to the arrest warrant.

When Merriam arrived, she was met by police officers and arrested without incident. At the same time, Mohler-Avery was arrested at his home without incident.

"We are looking at the possibility of other victims, however at this point it's still an active investigation," said Vernon police Lt. William Meier.

Following the arrests, Vernon police executed two search warrants at Mohler-Avery's home and Vernon office, where they seized numerous pieces of evidence pertaining to the investigation including computers.

Police said, in addition, they uncovered possible Medicare fraud committed by Mohler-Avery.

Mohler-Avery also voluntarily surrendered his license to the Department of Public Health last week

Vernon police officers then notified the Chief State's Attorney's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and inspectors from that office began their own investigation.

Additionally, Vernon police said the department is working with investigators from the Connecticut Department of Public Health regarding its administrative investigation into Mohler-Avery.

"Shocked, I put my trust in him and now I'm just like 'oh my gosh.' Do not what to say - just horrified," said patient Lynn Tomm.

Mohler-Avery is being held on a $1 million bond and expected to appear again in Tolland Superior Court on Nov. 28.

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