New London-Waterford Speedbowl Owner Found Guilty On Human Trafficking Charges

New London-Waterford Speedbowl owner Bruce Bemer

A jury in Danbury Superior Court Wednesday found New London-Waterford Speedbowl owner Bruce Bemer guilty of all charges he faced in his human trafficking case.

The jury had deliberated for about two days and rendered their decision late Wednesday afternoon.

The 65-year old Bemer was found guilty of four counts of patronizing a trafficked person and one count of being an accessory to human trafficking.

Bemer has been free on $500,000 bond since his arrest in March 2017. According to the Hartford Courant that bond was increased to $1.25 million on Wednesday by Judge Robin Pavia. Bemer was expected to post the increased bail.

Bemer is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6. He faces a possible 60 years in prison. He had reportedly rejected a plea deal that would have spared him jail time previously.

Bemer’s attorney Anthony Spinella said after the jury’s decision that appellate lawyers are preparing already.

“We’re just disappointed,” Spinella told the Hartford Courant. “I thought we put our best effort into it and it didn’t work out.”

Bemer was the high bidder in a foreclosure auction of the Speedbowl in October 2014.

It’s unclear what Wednesday’s verdict will mean for the future of the Speedbowl.

The Speedbowl has announced a 22-event weekly racing schedule for their Saturday night weekly divisions for the 2019 season. The track is scheduled to open for the 2019 season with the running of Blastoff weekend May 11-12.

The main grandstand at the Speedbowl was razed in January. Speedbowl general manager Mike Serluca has said that a new grandstand structure is set to be in place before May 11. It’s unclear if the formerly announced timetable for the completion of the grandstand remains in place.


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Comments

  1. Track needs a new owner, new name, new faces. Nobody of past managements involved at all. New standards need to be raised and enforced. Buddy system needs to leave town and maybe 1 day it could recover from the dead.

  2. sour grapes of justice says:

    the justice system has spoken.. the man was targeted due to his sexual orientation. hope Monahan and Serluca are happy now ..let the fun and games begin…. LOL.. this is a great day for dareal goodfella..

  3. The verdict I was hoping for. But who’s kidding who. No one won anything on this deal.

  4. Viva race fan says:

    So Sad for all….

  5. sour grapes wrote, “the justice system has spoken.. the man was targeted due to his sexual orientation. hope Monahan and Serluca are happy now ..let the fun and games begin…. LOL.. this is a great day for dareal goodfella..”

    Well, if Bemer was targeted because of his sexual orientation, you could safely bet that LGBTQ advocacy groups would be loud right now, fighting for Bruce. But that isn’t and won’t be happening.

    How soon can the track be sold?

  6. Sour : “the justice system has spoken.. the man was targeted due to his sexual orientation.”

    He wasn’t targeted due to his sexual orientation. He was literally using people to get his jollies. No one cares what his sexual orientation is at all. If he was doing the same thing to mentally ill FEMALE drug addicts then the same things would have happened. To think that this only happened because of his sexual orientation just shows how blind you are to the disgusting things Bemer has been doing for decades.

  7. Thank you DGF and Jake. Excuses and deflections after all this is pathetic.

  8. Check out the article in the New London Day. A little more info.

  9. Told you so says:

    This is the right outcome. He thought his money could get him out of this. He
    Was wrong. The decision has nothing to do with his sexual orientation seriously! He should have taken the plea deal. As far as the Waterford Speedbowl he has tried to do good things with that. Unfortunately this scandal did damage to the tracks reputation. The drivers have nothing to do with what Bruce has done in his personal life. The races work very hard to give us an amazing show every week. And dedicate all their free time to working on these cars. So people should not hold it against the racers they are not guilty of anything.

  10. I’m not shedding any tears over his conviction, but I’m actually quite surprised at the verdict. From what I read of the testimonies provided by each victim, they all stated that Bemer never forced them to do anything. Bemer was certainly guilty of soliciting prostitution, but he was charged with soliciting sex from trafficked individuals. The state had to show that Bemer knew, or should have known, that he was paying for sex from men who had been “forced, coerced or defrauded into service”. At least one of the victims testified that he contacted King to have him arrange meetings with Bemer whenever he was running short on money. I expected it to be very difficult to prove Bemer was “paying for sex with men who had been forced, coerced or defrauded into service” when at least one of them was coming back on their own to exchange sex for more money.

    Like I first said, I’m not shedding any tears regarding the conviction, but the Speedbowl will take a long time to recover from this stuation. Hopefully time heals all wounds.

  11. I’m not shedding any tears over his conviction, but I’m actually quite surprised at the verdict. From what I read of the testimonies provided by each victim, they all stated that Bemer never forced them to do anything. Bemer was certainly guilty of soliciting prostitution, but he was charged with soliciting sex from trafficked individuals. The state had to show that Bemer knew, or should have known, that he was paying for sex from men who had been “forced, coerced or defrauded into service”. At least one of the victims testified that he contacted King to have him arrange meetings with Bemer whenever he was running short on money. I expected it to be very difficult to prove Bemer was “paying for sex with men who had been forced, coerced or defrauded into service” when at least one of them was coming back on their own to exchange sex for more money.

    Like I first said, I’m not shedding any tears regarding the conviction, but the Speedbowl will take a long time to recover from this situation. Hopefully time heals all wounds.

  12. Hillary 2020 says:

    The prosecutor even said they were a bit surprised by the verdict. Maybe he is being made an example of. Maybe in Bemers case it didn’t help being a rich white man.

  13. Well, the court has spoken. Bemer knew what he was doing while he was doing it. The sad thing is it looks as if the competitors at NLWS will be the ones getting stiffed.hope something changes, but looks bleek.

  14. Not sure why there would be any surprise, other than juries do not like to find guilt in such heinous cases. He admitted to this right away, admitted to doing this for some 20-25 years. The defense did not deny, and acknowledged that Bruce did this. This was all about deciding if trafficking was a factor, and clearly that was a factor with King being guilty of luring the vulnerable targets into this ring. This does not go on for 20-25 years without the customer, Bruce, knowing what was going on. King was effectively Bruce’s employee whose job was to go out and hunt and gather this prey. It would be in interesting to find out how King and Bemer started this business arrangement.

  15. Hillary, maybe white privilege isn’t what is used to be.

  16. sour grapes of priviledge says:

    its only white privilege because he has money … the other white gay men weren’t offered freedom for a plea deal because they are not even remotely wealthy … they don’t have any civil suits against them…. its all about the benjamins ..this should be a lesson for all rich gay men and rich hetero men too after what happened to Robert Craft .. you think he(Craft) will get the same jail time as Bemer.? after all those girls were trafficked too right ..probably been a customer for years and years .,. should have known as a consumer the employees they were being forced to act against their will ..LOL

  17. Ray Williams says:

    White privilege had nothing to do with this.sticking his business where it didn’t belong had everything to do with it. I don’t usually say anything. But I’m tired of reading that it was just patronizing a prostitute! What he did was criminal. Money makes people weird and creepy, this man prooves it!

  18. sour grapes, can you please explain your relationship with Bemer and why you staunchly defend him?

  19. This is a hoot. A really serious issue reached a conclusion. And now the tribes have to somehow make sense of it all by putting labels on it then arguing about the labels relevance.
    It’s Kraft not Craft. There is no equivalency between a man of any wealth paying for a message with an illegal happy ending twice in a lawfully registered facility and whatever arrangement King and Bemer had going over decades. Nor does it make sense to use a verdict in the Kraft case that hasn’t happened yet to support the equivalency you think exists.

  20. sour, the ‘spa’ that Kraft patronized was under surveillance for suspected human trafficking. Kraft was presumably just another customer. It is rather strange that it turns out that the former owner of the spa is friends with Kraft and Trump. The former spa owner and Trump were at the Kraft Super Bowl party. Many photos of them socializing and partying together have been published. Maybe she was a madam to that circle of people. Time will tell.

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