WARNING: This story contains disturbing content. Please read at your own discretion.
Two men have been charged in Oklahoma for allegedly illegally castrating a victim they had lured into the woods after the 28-year-old answered an online ad for discounted gender-affirming surgery.
The suspects were taken into custody after they showed up at a hospital in McAlester, Okla., to see the maimed victim, whom they had dropped off the day before.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, had suffered injuries to their genitals but was in stable condition on Wednesday, police said.
LeFlore County Sheriff Rodney Derryberry struggled to describe the nature of the gruesome case while talking to reporters on Tuesday.
“I can’t say it’s cult activity,” he said in response to a question. “It is something that we have never in my career run across in this part of the country. It is borderline some type of activity.”
The married suspects face charges of conspiracy to commit unlicensed surgery, performing unlicensed surgery, maiming, unlawful use of a communication facility, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, failure to bury a dead human member and three drug-related charges.
The victim looked up discounted castration and gender-affirming medical care online, then travelled to Oklahoma from Virginia via Dallas earlier this month, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Oklahoman newspaper. The 28-year-old drove to the suspects’ cabin in the woods of southeast Oklahoma, where the pair performed the surgery.
The victim was awake but the pubic area was anesthetized during the two-hour procedure, according to the affidavit. Allen allegedly performed the surgery on a covered dining room table with assistance from Gates, the victim said.
Afterward, Allen allegedly told the victim he would “consume the parts and laughed that he was a cannibal,” according to the court documents. The two men also allegedly tried to get the victim “to participate in cannibalism.”
Allen allegedly showed the victim photos of a freezer filled with human parts, and described other operations he’d performed over 15 years.
The victim claims that Allen spoke of leaving a “crazy” patient to “die overnight” on one occasion, according to the affidavit.
The suspects rushed the victim to the hospital after the 28-year-old started to hemorrhage, with instructions to claim responsibility for having “done it,” according to the affidavit.
Authorities say they searched the cabin and found “what appeared to be testicles” in a freezer in the bedroom. The suspects were arrested at the hospital while police searched their home on a warrant.
The suspects did not have a medical licence, officials say.
Derryberry added that there have been “lots of rumours” about the case, “but at this time there’s no danger to the public.”
He said the suspects were running a membership website, and investigators are now combing through their digital files. It’s unclear if they accepted payment for the alleged operation.
No other victims had been identified as of Thursday. Bail for each suspect was set at $295,000.
They are slated to appear in court on Friday.