Feds: Pot Farmer Confessed To Keeping Southland Girl, 15, In Box

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal prosecutors say one of two men accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old Southland girl — keeping her captive in a metal box and forcing her to work on a large Northern California marijuana growing operation — has confessed.

Court documents filed in the case against 30-year-old Ryan Balletto and 24-year-old Patrick Pearmain say prosecutors obtained a recorded confession from Balletto.

Both men are scheduled to enter pleas Friday in federal court in San Francisco. They have been charged with marijuana possession and using a minor in drug operations.

Authorities allege Balletto and Pearmain used the girl to cut marijuana buds at a Lake County property and had sex with her.

The girl, who is from the Los Angeles area, told investigators she was kept in a 4- by 2-foot box.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

RELATED STORY: Southland Girl Used As Sex Slave, Held Captive In Box At NorCal Pot Farm

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