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A victim of the so-called "vampire trucker" cried on Wednesday as she told a federal judge of her imprisonment in the Utah man's long-haul rig while he sexually assaulted her nearly every day for three months, beat her severely and choked her before her escape.
"I feel fortunate I can actually speak today," said the woman known in court as Victim B and who was the only one of six women who trucker Timothy Jay Vafeades held and assaulted who spoke at his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court.
"I was assaulted with a belt," the woman told U.S. District Judge David Nuffer. "He raped me."
Nuffer sentenced Vafeades to 20 years in prison on his guilty pleas to two charges of transporting a person across state lines with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of transporting child pornography.
The hearing brought out horrific stories of abuse of the six women by Vafeades, who himself had suffered "unspeakable abuse and neglect" as a child, according to a sentencing memorandum.
He was born from the rape of his mother, and was raised by her and his stepfather, but suffered physical and verbal abuse, and was "never wanted" and "never loved" by his parents, according to a sister who spoke to Vafeades' attorneys.
"I think it's clear everyone involved in this case is damaged," said defense attorney Vanessa Ramos.
The six women were held captive by Vafeades, who took their identifications and cell phones, forced them to shower with him and sleep naked, forbade them from looking at other people and beat them repeatedly while also sexually assaulting them almost every day, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Trina Higgins.
"He had the ability to brutalize these women beyond anything we can comprehend," Higgins said.
Vafeades was obsessed with vampires and kept a pair of vampire fangs in his truck, she said, but that wasn't why he used a Dremel tool to grind down teeth of some of the victims, or cut and dyed their hair.
"His purpose was to fix what he thought were their flaws," Higgins said. "He changed their appearance. He wanted them to look the same."
Vafeades briefly address Nuffer and, through sobs, said he was sorry for his actions and for not recognizing that he had become a "monster."
"I'm sorry," Vafeades said. "I'm sorry those women were hurt."
Nuffer noted the case was a "series of tragedies that began with the horribly abusive pattern of behavior in which Mr. Vafeades was born," and on which he then continued to pattern his own behavior.
"The tragedies the victims have suffered are some of the worse things I've ever encountered," Nuffer said.
The judge said he found lessons in the case about how abusive behaviors rebound.
"There are no actions without consequences," he said.
Vafeades was arrested in November of 2013 on charges of violating a protective order after officers at a weigh station in Clay County, Minn., noticed bruises on a victim's face. He was charged later in federal court in Salt Lake City with kidnapping and sexually assaulting two women during cross-country trips.
FBI agents identified four others who Vafeades also held and assaulted. He forced several of them to marry him.
Nuffer also placed on Vafeades on supervised release for life once he gets out of prison.