In a case that will make you think twice before getting "a lift" from a truck driver, one man is accused of going to hellish extremes to have some company as he traveled across the country.
Timothy Jay Vafeades is in the process of being transferred back to his native Utah where he will answer to charges that include kidnapping, transportation for illegal sexual activity, and possession of child pornography.
The 54-year-old truck driver was first accused of kidnapping a teenage female relative who had come from Florida to work with him on his truck. The 19-year-old said that she intended to be with him a week, however Vafeades violently opposed. The victim claims that the man strangled her until she lost consciousness.
Afterwards, Vafeades forced her to remain with him for roughly six months using violence and threats of violence to keep her with him. A criminal complaint against the trucker says that he forced his young female relative to have sex with him over 100 times.
Meet the Utah truck driver accused of keeping teenage sex slaves in the back of his rig. Horrific. http://t.co/sTvKq3fHD4
— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) March 13, 2014
He was eventually arrested for the kidnapping in November 2013 when officers at a weigh station noticed bruises on the victim and found a restraining order dating back to 1999 barring contact with her.
A second woman came forward after Vafeades's arrest, saying that she too had been taken on the road by him against her will.
She told detectives that she had agreed to have dinner with Vafeades when they met in Salt Lake City, Utah in April 2012. She got into his truck and about ten minutes into the ride, the woman said that he informed her that she would be with him for at least a week.
He is alleged to have kept this second woman against her will for a period of about three months, during which time he beat and raped her. She says that he referred to her as a slave and had forced her to have sex nearly everyday. Vafeades is also accused of cutting and coloring the woman's hair to disguise her appearance and even forcing her to marry him.
The Utah truck driver will face charges in Minnesota in addition to federal charges. He is currently being held in the Clay County Jail.
Image via Wikimedia Commons