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‘Vampire Trucker’ Who Kept Women as Sex Slaves in His Semi-Trailer Gets 20 Years

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Utah trucker Timothy Jay Vafeades kept six women as sex slaves in his semi-trailer — where he raped, abused, tormented, beat and imprisoned them while he traveled across the country.

After being sentenced this week in federal court, he’ll spend 20 years in prison, according to multiple reports.

The 56-year-old previously pleaded guilty, in June, to two counts of transporting a person across state lines with intent to engage for illegal sexual activity and one count of transporting child pornography, The Deseret News reports.

On Wednesday, Vafeades was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Utah, according to the News. He was also ordered under a lifetime of court supervision after his release.

In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Trina Higgins outlined a history of Vafeades’ abuse, The Salt Lake Tribune reports: He took the cell phones and identifications of six women and held them captive — forcing them to shower with him and sleep naked. They were forbidden from looking at other people, beaten repeatedly and sexually assaulted daily.

“I feel fortunate I can actually speak today,” one of Vefeades’ victims  — known as Victim B — said at his sentencing hearing, according to the Tribune. “I was assaulted with a belt. He raped me.”

 

Clay County Jail via AP
Clay County Jail via AP
Clay County Jail via AP

Obsessed with vampires, Vafeades became known in the media as the “Vampire Trucker.” He nicknamed his truck the “Twilight Express” and often wore vampire fangs, the Associated Press reports. He took a power tool to one of his victim’s teeth to shape them into vampire fangs, according to court documents obtained by the AP.

At his hearing, Vafeades gave a brief, tearful apology, according to the News.

“I am sorry for my life,” he said. “I am sorry for not recognizing myself and what a monster I am.”

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U.S. District Judge David Nuffer said Wednesday that the abuses the women suffered were some of the worst he’d ever come across, according to the AP.

Of Vafeades’ six victims, one was a relative. Another was beaten brutally when she wouldn’t marry him. The four others agreed to marriage out of fear of retribution, according to the Tribune.

His defense attorney, Vanessa Ramos, said Vefeades had suffered physical and verbal abuse himself. “I think it’s clear everyone involved in this case is damaged,” she said, The Tribune reports.

Ramos did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on whether she will appeal the sentence.

Vafeades was arrested in November 2013 at a weigh station in Clay County, Minnesota, after officers noticed bruises on one of his victims’ faces, according to the AP. His guilty plea involved two victims — an 18-year-old girl in 2012 and a 19-year-old girl in 2013 — but court documents allege his abuse began as far back as 1994.

Those cases were too old for criminal prosecution, authorities told the AP. Higgins said the plea deal both spared Vafeades’ victims from having to testify and brought them closure.

Had Vafeades gone to trial, he would have faced a maximum of 25 years, Higgins told the AP.