Alleged mastermind in sex trafficking ring now faces 34 felonies
SALT LAKE CITY — Several additional charges were filed Monday against the man prosecutors believe masterminded a drug and human trafficking ring in Utah involving teenage boys.
Thirty-one new charges — all felonies — were filed against Victor Manuel Rax, 42. The new charges included aggravated human trafficking for forced labor involving a child, racketeering, and multiple counts of forcible sodomy on a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, child endangerment and object rape. Those charges were added to the three drug distribution counts Rax was already facing.
Rax is accused of trafficking teen boys, mainly undocumented Latinos, for sexual purposes and then using fear to force them into sex and drug trafficking.
Rax would "use proceeds from his criminal enterprise in the form of money, gifts, controlled substances and food as a way to groom the children to remain and/or return to (Rax) and eventually as a mechanism to overcome the will of the children in order to commit sexual offenses upon them," according to the amended probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court.
Charging documents list seven victims, one as young as 7 when he first met Rax, and another as young as 9 when he was allegedly first abused by him. Some of the abuse dated back to 2006, and some victims said they had been abused by Rax for years, according to court records.
Each of the boys reported similar stories of being lured to Rax with offers of free alcohol and later drugs and then being sexually abused, according to court records. The boys also told prosecutors they were afraid something would happen to them or their families if they tried to get away, the charges stated.
One victim was told "he would be protected by his gods" if he had sex with Rax, according to court records, and that "bad things could happen otherwise."
Another victim told prosecutors he was afraid of what would happen to his family if Rax thought he was a "traitor," according to charging documents.
“Once we were able to detain Victor Rax, we have seen many victims bravely come forward with horrific stories of abuse," Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said in a prepared statement.
Investigators believe there are more victims and are encouraging them to come forward.
After the boys were under Rax's control, they kept large quantities of drugs in their homes to sell, according to prosecutors.
Multiple search warrants were served on Feb. 11 — the day Rax was arrested — in several Utah counties. One warrant resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of marijuana and meth at a house at 1494 W. 700 South.
In light of the new charges, a higher bail was requested by the attorney general's office.
A status hearing was scheduled in court for Tuesday.
On Friday, Rax's two brothers were also arrested. Victor A. Rax Chun, 31, and Marcos Tot-Chun, 31, were both arrested by the Utah Attorney General’s SECURE Strike Force investigation team and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.
Chun was arrested for investigation of witness tampering. Tot-Chun was arrested for investigation of two counts of forgery.
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