More Victims in Case of Utah Truck Driverby Jana Ritter - Published: 11/14/2014
Utah truck driver, Timothy Jay Vafeades, who chose to wear vampire-fang dentures was arrested in Moorhead California late last year after a weigh station officer saw his badly bruised 19-year-old hostage and thankfully intervened. Soon after his arrest, another woman came forward saying that she had also been held and badly abused by Vafeades. He was charged with crimes against both women that include sexually abusing and beating them while holding them captive in his semi-trailer as he traveled the country.
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Now Federal Prosecutors say they've found four more victims and some of the new accusations date back 20 years. In the new court documents filed in Utah federal court Monday, Vafeades is accused of holding women as prisoners for months at a time and each of the women reported suffering repeated beatings with a belt, being forced into sex, and being warned by Vafeades not to look at nor talk to other people, the court documents said. The most horrifying allegations in his repeated patterns of abuse with the four most recent cases, was using a small drill to file down the women's teeth, the court documents said.
Prosecutors say go into more detail saying that “Victim C” met Vafeades in 2008 when he was a patient at a hospice facility and two months later they were married and she joined him on the road. "The defendant took all forms of Victim C's identification; cut and dyed Victim C's hair; forced her to shower with him; sexually assaulted her; forced her to sleep naked; refused to allow her to look at other people; used a Dremel to file her teeth down; and hit her with a belt," prosecutors said in court. Victim C finally escaped six months later when the truck had stopped in California.
Victim D was 18 years old when she met Vafeades in 2001. She had been working at a retail store and he had contacted her again in 2005, where she agreed to join him on the road for what she planned to to be a week and a half. For almost three months she was beaten every day until she too, finally escaped.
The other new cases date from the 1990s and also involve young women he met at college or online and according to the court documents, he lured them to his truck, then forcibly altered their appearances and ground down their teeth while holding them prisoner for months.
Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah said that charges have not been filed for the newly alleged incidents because the statute of limitations has expired. But prosecutors do plan on using the details as evidence in the original case filed in March.
Vafeades has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of kidnapping, transporting for illegal sexual activity and possession of child pornography.
How easy would it be for a truck driver to hold victims on the road that long? Is there any way for other truck drivers to detect anything suspicious inside a semi-trailer while parked at truck stops etc.?