AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora man accused of housing up to a dozen male runaways in exchange for sex supposedly branded his victims with a special tattoo.
Sean Crumpler, 48, faces a dozen counts related to sex trafficking, including one count of a sexual offense with notice of HIV.
In an exclusive interview with FOX31 Denver, a 23-year-old man, whose identity is being protected and who briefly dated one of Crumpler’s younger housemates, said the 20-year-old had a tattoo on his arm with the word “Sean” and a picture of a bird that matches an engraved bird on a stone entrance way near Crumpler’s neighborhood.
The 23-year-old provided a photo of the 20-year-old’s tattoo to FOX31 and said, “He told me that it was because they were supposed to get it, and because it kept away all the other 'sugar daddies' when they are out partying or at the club.”
The 23-year-old said he never met Crumpler personally but twice visited the house where the Aurora Police Department and the FBI said up to a dozen males ages 16 to 21 lived rent free in exchange for sex with Crumpler.
“Most of the time when Sean was away, they’d have other guys over and have sex with them, but when Sean was there, they were forced to have sex with whoever he said," the 23-year-old said.
He added Crumpler preyed on gay runaways he met on the social media app Grindr. The arrest affidavit for Crumpler mentions a 16-year-old victim who told police Crumpler liked to go “hunting.”
“Hunting" is a term where they go and look for boys, teenagers who are looking for help and are in desperate need of somebody’s assistance,” the 23-year-old said.
He said the 20-year-old he briefly dated met Crumpler when he was 16. He said the then teen was kicked out of his home after revealing to his family that he was gay.
“When he got kicked out, he was on the streets of Denver for four to five months where he got hooked on meth and he got beat up," the 23-year-old said. "At one point, he got all of his teeth kicked out and so sort of a knight in shining armor (Crumpler) comes in and says he’ll take care of everything, all the medical bills, dental bills, all the drugs that you could want.”
The 23-year-old said most of the young men living with Crumpler spent their days playing video games, watching Netflix and making homemade porn online.
“They don’t realize they’re victims. They think he’s there to help them and they get whatever they want and they don’t have to work or get jobs or participate in normal society," he said.
The arrest affidavit quotes one boy as stating he knew “Crumpler is HIV positive” but that no one in the house practiced safe sex.
“The young gentleman that I met with said some of the other boys were HIV positive but they were taking medication to suppress it,” the 23-year-old told FOX31 Denver.
Arapahoe County prosecutors won’t say if any of Crumpler’s victims have tested HIV positive, but they did confirm in court that Crumpler owns a motel in Thailand and was questioned by law enforcement after returning to the U.S. from Thailand in July.
As a result, they requested Crumpler’s passport be revoked at a court hearing Monday. The judge declined and also agreed to a defense request to modify Crumpler’s mandatory protection order forbidding his access to the Internet.
The judge warned Crumpler, a computer engineer, that he is only to use the Internet “for work-related duties and responsibilities.”
Crumpler is due back in court for a preliminary hearing Nov. 23.