SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah truck driver kept sex
slaves in his semitrailer for months at a time while he traveled the
country, filing down their teeth, forcing them to alter their appearance
and beating them until they nearly passed out, authorities said.
Jay Vafeades, 54, made an initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District
Court in Fargo, N.D., and will now be transferred to Utah for further
The charges against him include kidnapping,
transportation for illegal sexual activity, and possession of child
pornography, and could bring a life sentence if he is convicted. His
public defender, Richard Henderson, could not be reached for comment.
arrest warrant filed Tuesday in Salt Lake City claims Vafeades
kidnapped a 19-year-old female relative who had come from Florida in May
2013 to work with him on his truck, the "Twilight Express."
a week, the teen told Vafeades she wanted to go home, but she later
told authorities that he strangled her until she blacked out and used
threats and violence to keep her with him for the next six months while
they traveled to Washington state, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee and other
Despite her pleas, Vafeades forced the teenager to have
sex with him more than 100 times during their time together, a criminal
He chipped down the girl's teeth and had her
wear a fake set, and wore his own false set that featured vampire fangs,
the teen told investigators.
Vafeades was arrested at a Clay
County, Minn., weigh station on Nov. 26, after officers noticed bruises
on the teenager and turned up a 1999 restraining order barring Vafeades
from contacting the girl.
After his arrest, a second woman went to
authorities to report she had been held captive in Vafeades' truck,
according to the warrant.
The woman told detectives she met the
driver at a Salt Lake City truck stop in April 2012. She agreed to have
dinner with him and got into his truck, according to the report, but
Vafeades told her about 10 minutes into the ride that she was going with
him for a week or more.
The woman said Vafeades kept her with him
for about three months through threats and violence, forcing her to
have sex with him nearly every day and calling her his slave,
She said he had her hair cut and colored to disguise her identity and forced her to marry him.
trucker faces state charges in Minnesota in addition to the federal
counts. He is in the Clay County Jail awaiting transfer to Utah.