‘Vampire’ trucker pleads guilty to keeping women as sex slaves aboard his ‘Twilight Express’ semi

The woman told investigators she met Timothy Jay Vafeades at the Sapp Brothers truck stop in Salt Lake City. It was April 2012, and she got into his tractor-trailer after agreeing to get dinner with him, according to court documents. But about 10 minutes into the drive, Vafeades told her that “they were not going to dinner and that she was going on the road with him for a week or more,” an FBI agent wrote in a criminal affidavit. “She reported that she knew she could not do anything.”

For months after that, investigators allege, Vafeades forced the woman to live with him, work on the truck and have sex with him almost daily. Vafeades told the woman “she was his ‘slave’ on the truck,” and he beat her often, according to the affidavit.

Vafeades was eventually charged with kidnapping the woman and one other and transporting them for illegal sexual activity aboard his truck, dubbed the “Twilight Express.” Prosecutors alleged that he also kidnapped and sexually assaulted four other women over a span of two decades, subjecting them to beatings and holding them captive as he drove his truck across the country. On Thursday, Vafeades, 56, agreed to a plea deal just days before his trial was to begin. He pleaded guilty to the illegal sexual activity charges. The kidnapping charges were dropped in exchange.

The deal means Vafeades referred to by local media as the “vampire” truck driver because of the fangs on false teeth he once wore could face more than 20 years in prison.

In May, he also pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography, which carries a five-year sentence.

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