Tag Archives: Virginia

Tortured Sex Slave Rescued by Truck Driver

Tortured Sex Slave Saved By Trucker From This Iowa Couple

Tortured Sex Slave Saved By Trucker From This Iowa Couple

A tortured sex slave, later revealed as a 20-year-old female victim, was saved by trucker Kevin Kimmel, according to WTVR. Kimmel saw the suspicious activity at a New Kent Pilot gas station and truck lot in January, and reported it to Richmond, VA, police because, “It was a no brainer what was going on.”

Kimmel, a veteran truck driver speaking about the incident for the first time, didn’t know what happened until he saw “the gruesome details through the news.” According to WTVR, what was allegedly going on was abuse, fraud, forced prostitution, and torture, among other crimes.

Kimmel said he became suspicious when he saw the victim peeking out from behind dark curtains in an RV and, in what may have been an awkward moment, thought that the black curtains didn’t appear to be, “a families RV [sic], you know.”

A guy come up and knock on the door then go inside the Pilot–then quickly came back and knocked again, all of the sudden the thing was rocking and rolling.”

That was when he called the local sheriff’s department in Virginia, who, according to Daily Mail, eventually found Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorenson inside the RV, allegedly holding the victim hostage, who appeared malnourished and tortured.

She reportedly suffered from various wounds including burns on her abdomen, groin, and her back consistent with, “being struck and stamped with a hot metal key.” She also suffered wounds on her feet that were, “consistent with nails hammered into her flesh,” according to News & Advance.

Police charged the Iowa couple with various federal crimes ranging from coercion to sex trafficking by force after they uncovered that the two had turned the alleged victim into a tortured sex slave and forced her to service “clients” as part of an online prostitution ring. According to the Daily Mail, police found photos of the alleged victim being tortured. Some photos depicted the alleged victim bound and gagged while nude and others depicted her getting bleach sprayed into open and bleeding wounds.

The couple, Sorensen, 36 and Hodza, 31, are accused of taking the victim hostage on Christmas Eve in 2014 and forcing her into prostitution. They allegedly threatened to kill the victim and her family, according to the News & Advance.

The accused couple likely used these threats to scare the alleged victim, forcing her to comply with their demands.

A common tactic used by abusers, one example would be the case of Officer Stephen Maiorino from Boynton Beach, who threatened to kill a 20-year-old rape victim after allegedly victimizing her at gunpoint on the hood of his police car in October, 2014, according to the Palm Beach Post.

According to News & Advance, the victim also accuses the Iowa couple of denying her food and water during the trip from Iowa to Virginia. Also from Iowa, the alleged victim also states her alleged abusers expected her turn all the money made as a tortured sex slave over to them for their own food and gas for the RV, a 37-foot Sun Voyager.

According to WVTR, Kimmel said, “I’m just happy I helped her.”

The couple is expected to appear in a federal court in Virginia, according to News & Advance, as federal courts prosecute sex trafficking cases much more harshly than state level courts do in Virginia.

Elkins Man Charged with 50 Counts of Incest

The indictment alleges Shifflett had sexual intercourse with a family member under the age of 12 on numerous occasions between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

By Katie Kuba

The case of an Elkins man charged with 50 counts of incest will go to trial this month.

Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong on Friday denied a prosecution motion for continuance in the case of Derek Shifflett, 30, ruling that Shifflett will be tried by jury as scheduled Sept. 18-19 in Randolph County Circuit Court.

In February, Shifflett was indicted on 50 counts of incest, a felony; 50 counts of first-degree sexual assault, a felony; and 50 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, a felony. The indictment alleges Shifflett had sexual intercourse with a family member under the age of 12 on numerous occasions between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

On Friday, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker requested the continuance, saying there were “significant legal issues” and “significant evidence issues that need to be ironed out” prior to jury selection. Those issues include motions to suppress witnesses and a motion to suppress a statement made by the mother of the alleged victim.

“I don’t make this motion (for continuance) lightly, but I just think there are too many outstanding issues,” Parker said.

Shifflett, who is being held on a $360,000 cash-only bond, has been incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail for nearly a year, his attorney, Christopher Cooper, told the court.

“My client has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and he has sat in jail for almost a year,” Cooper said. “While these are some egregious charges, until he is convicted, my client sits here an innocent man.”

Should a continuance be granted, Cooper said he would ask that Shifflett’s bond be reduced and he be placed on home confinement.

Heather Weese, the guardian ad litem in the case, said the alleged victim was “fearful” of Shifflett and particularly “fearful of retaliation,” should he be released on bond.

Wilfong said she wanted to protect Shifflett’s right to a speedy trial as well as the child’s safety.

“I’m concerned about him being incarcerated for a year, and I’m also concerned about the locale of the child,” she said.

The judge set a hearing on outstanding motions for 10 a.m. Sept. 13 and said the trial would be conducted on Sept. 18-19 as planned.

Also in Circuit Court Friday, Wilfong granted a defense motion for a mental status evaluation in the case of Robin Georgetta Moore, 34, of Belington. Moore is accused of videotaping her juvenile daughter engaging in sex acts with an adult male, among other sex-related charges.

Moore’s attorney, Timothy Prentice, informed Wilfong that although his client is “not openly psychotic,” he believes she is “unable to comprehend court proceedings.”

“It’s more of a situation in which she’s not able to assist me in preparing a defense, and I’m concerned about her mental health,” Prentice said. “I’m convinced she’s not being dilatory; she would like to help.”

Wilfong granted the motion, ordering that psychologist Dr. Robert Rush perform a competency evaluation on Moore by the end of September.

In February, Moore was indicted on 22 counts of a parent, guardian or custodian allowing sexual abuse, a felony; four counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, a felony; four counts of employment or use of a minor to produce obscene matter, a felony; three counts of use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct, a felony; three counts of display of obscene material to a minor, a felony; one count of exhibiting of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; one count of displaying material by a parent, guardian or custodian depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; four counts of possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; and four counts of possession of material by a parent, guardian or custodian depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony.

Moore was also charged with three misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.