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Florida man arrested for botching castration on victim he met on dark web, deputies say

SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) – A Highlands County man is behind bars after deputies say he performed a botched castration in his home on a man he met through the dark web.

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on Orday Road in Sebring just before midnight on Sunday for a 911 hang-up call. When they got to the home, they say 74-year-old Gary Van Ryswyk answered the door and told deputies he had just performed a castration on a man.

Responding deputies say they went inside and found a man on the bed with a towel over his groin area, which was bleeding heavily. He was taken to the hospital and was later flown to a regional medical center. Authorities say he is stable.

According to a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page, the room in the home was set up like a surgical center with medical equipment and painkillers. A camera was also set up to record the procedure, the post says.

Deputies say Van Ryswyk told them he met the victim on a website on the dark web for people with a castration fetish. The sheriff’s office says he told the victim he had experience on animals and had performed a procedure on himself back in 2012.

“He also said he had done a similar procedure on a man in a local motel a few years ago that turned out pretty much like this one, but couldn’t remember the other man’s name. The man went to the hospital, but law enforcement was not notified,” the sheriff’s office said in its Facebook post.

Van Ryswyk was arrested on Monday and charged with practicing medicine without a license resulting in bodily injury. His bond has been set at $250,000.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on Van Ryswyk to call them at (863) 402-7250 or email