MURRAY — Federal charges have been filed against a Murray man accused of holding a teenage girl hostage in his semitrailer for months in order to sexually and physically abuse her, and his arrest has prompted a second victim to come forward.
Federal charges were filed Tuesday against Timothy Jay Vafeades, 53, who was charged in December with kidnapping a female relative and taking her across several states in his truck, sexually and physically abusing her "hundreds of times," according to court documents.
Vafeades met with the 19-year-old in Salt Lake City in May 2013 when she came from Florida to work with him. He allegedly sexually assaulted her as she slept on the first night she was with him, according to court documents. They left Utah the next day in Vafeades' truck, the "Twilight Express."
When the girl tried to leave a week later, Vafeades began a pattern of abuse and intimidation, including beating or strangling his victim until she passed out and taking her driver's license, social security card and SIM card for her phone, charges state.
Vafeades' alleged trail of abuse ended Nov. 26 in Clay County, Minn., where an alert trooper realized the female passenger in Vafeades' semitrailer had a lifetime protection order issued against him in 1999 out of Florida.
After reading reports about Vafeades' arrest, an adult woman told police she too had been taken from Utah after she met him at a Salt Lake City truck stop in April 2012 and agreed to have dinner with him. When she got in Vafeades' truck, he told her she was going on the road with him, according to the charges.
Over four months and across several states, Vafeades allegedly beat and sexually abused the woman on a daily or weekly basis, telling her she was a "slave" on his truck, charges state. He also required the woman to do all the paperwork for the company, but she was never paid.
Vafeades also kept the woman's identifying documents, ordered her to change her appearance by cutting and coloring her hair, and forced her to marry him, charges state. He threatened to kill her if she talked to anyone.
In July 2012, just days after Vafeades allegedly forced the woman to lie naked across a bed while he beat her with a belt during a stop in Florida, officers at a weigh station in Otoe County, Nebraska, noticed her bruises and separated them. The woman described the abuse and reported the beating to authorities in Florida, where charges are pending, court documents state.
Both the adult victim and the 19-year-old told police Vafeades filed their teeth with a small drill. The 19-year-old told investigators that Vafeades, the owner of Twilight Express Trucking, "had an obsession with vampires" and even owned a pair of dentures that were carved to make the two front teeth appear as fangs.
Both women also reported Vafeades kept external hard drives containing child pornography. The adult woman told investigators Vafeades had "a big problem with child pornography and looked at it often," charges state. He allegedly required her to load child pornography from the hard drives onto a laptop computer for him.
After his arrest in Minnesota, police located the hard drives and sent them to an FBI agent in Salt Lake City. The agent located "hundreds of photos and videos of child pornography."7 comments on this story
In addition to charges filed in Clay County's 7th District Court last year, Vafeades now faces federal charges of kidnapping, transportation for illegal sexual activity, transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
The federal charges carry potential penalties between 10 years to life in prison. He is currently in a Minnesota jail.
Charging documents also noted that Vafeades has "numerous domestic related convictions from the 1980s and 1990s," including a conviction for domestic abuse assault in 2012 in Iowa.
In Utah, a protective order was also filed against him in 3rd District Court in 2012.
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