Download the Q13 News weather app here

19-year-old held in basement for sex escaped when suspect left for court, prosecutors say

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man faces a slew of charges after he allegedly kept a woman tied up in the basement of a home on the city's north side, and forced her to have sex with multiple men.

The 69-year-old woman who owns the three-family home said she didn't know what was taking place below her feet during the fall of 2016 when police say 24-year-old Benjamin Hooks held the 19-year-old captive.

The homeowner told WITI-TV, "I didn't have an (expletive) thing to do with this. He snuck in. He snuck in and did it."

Benjamin Hooks

According to a criminal complaint recently obtained by WITI, the 19-year-old came to live at the home in order to care for the 69-year-old homeowner. The victim told police "soon after, people started showing up and taking over the house," including Hooks.

"Some guys come in -- they push right in and they start going around," the homeowner said.

Investigators said Hooks kept the woman locked up -- sometimes forcing her to wear a dog collar and stay in a dog cage. Police said Hooks would blindfold her while she was forced to have sex with multiple men while she was tied down. The victim said she "would usually get one to two meals each day," and was kept locked in a room with a pit bull.

"There are just groups of guys -- people -- who are around the neighborhood. Groups of people, right? He came in, snuck in after someone moved out," the homeowner said.

The victim said she was able to escape when Hooks left the house for a court appearance. Records show Hooks is facing charges in a separate case involving human trafficking. The victims in that case are a 20-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl.

Another man leaving the home on Tuesday called Hooks a "good guy," and said "I don't know anything about that," when asked about the allegations against Hooks.

In the case involving the 19-year-old, Hooks was charged in early May with first-degree sexual assault, use of a dangerous weapon, habitual criminality repeater, false imprisonment (habitual criminality repeater) and possession of a firearm by a felon (habitual criminality repeater).

Hooks has a total of three open cases, filed between January and May of 2017.

In a case filed in January, Hooks faces one count of substantial battery, intentional bodily harm, and habitual criminality repeater.

In late May, he was charged with human trafficking as a party to a crime, trafficking a child, child abuse, intentionally causing harm and second-degree sexual assault of a child.