Utah man charged with kidnapping, sex trafficking teen in foster care

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DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Davis County man has been charged with kidnapping, rape and sex trafficking after a teen from Utah ended up in a Colorado hospital in 2017 saying the man had repeatedly sexually assaulted her, raped her and then tried to force her into prostitution. 

Ryan A. MacFarlane, 47, was charged on April 17 with several first-degree felony charges including human trafficking of a child, aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, object rape, rape and aggravated exploitation of a child prostitute. 

Charging documents state in November 2017, the Utah Attorney General’s office received information from the Utah Interstate Compact for Juveniles regarding a 16-year-old girl who was a possible victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

During an interview with detectives, the girl said a few days prior to Halloween, she ran away and was picked up in the Murray area by a Hispanic male. She said the man took her to his brother’s house and they helped to remove her ankle monitor. The girl said she was sexually assaulted by multiple Hispanic males at the home after they gave her alcohol, arresting documents state. 

The next morning the girl said she left the apartment and took TRAX to the downtown Salt Lake City area where she was then picked up by a “white male with long hair”.

According to documents, the girl told investigators she performed sexual acts on the man in exchange for a ride and he would hold her head down, so she was not able to see where he was taking her.

The girl said they ended up at a storage unit, where he had a bed, dresser, clothes, and condoms.

The teen said once there, he would put his hands around her neck, choke and call her names while having sex with her multiple times, documents state.  

Documents further stated the girl said he kept telling her he wished he could “keep her” after she told him she wanted to leave Utah. He ended up taking the girl to his mother’s home where he hid her in a trailer parked in the driveway until the next morning when he allowed her to come in the home, shower and wear some of his daughter’s clothes.

The two then left the home and began driving to Wyoming. During the drive, the teen said MacFarlane started talking about how she could earn money by engaging in commercial sex or prostitution, documents state. 

Charging documents stated just after they arrived in Wyoming, the girl said they were pulled over by a police officer and MacFarlane was given a warning for speeding. MacFarlane had told the officer the girl’s name was Jade and they were selling cleaning supplies.

The girl said during various times on the drive, MacFarlane took her to truck stops and told her to make money by performing sexual acts for truck drivers. The girl said she did not want to engage in commercial sex, so she asked the truck drivers for a ride instead. When they declined, she went back to MacFarlane and told him the truck drivers were not interested, arresting documents stated. 

At one point during the drive, the teen told MacFarlane her father was in prison and MacFarlane told her not to mention anything about him if police ever questioned her because he has a daughter and she needs him, according to documents.

Documents further stated the girl said as they drove to Colorado, MacFarlane would keep trying to have the teen ask truck drivers if they wanted sex. But the girl would continue to ask them for rides, and they would continue to decline. She would then return again to MacFarlane and tell them no one wanted to pay for sex.

Once they reached Denver, they parked outside a mall and MacFarlane told the girl to memorize the store where the car was parked so she would know where to return. He discussed what prices to charge men for sex and then had her get out of the car, leaving behind her backpack as reassurance she would return, documents state.

The girl did not return to the car and ended up at a hospital in Denver high on methamphetamine where police officers were alerted. The girl was then transported to a detention center in Utah where she was interviewed.

The girl told investigators she remembered his name from the traffic citation he received in Wyoming and that his name was also written on some boxes inside the trailer she was in. She was also able to describe the layout of the property, residence, and trailer.

The teen was then able to identify the man through a photo line-up.

MacFarlane was interviewed in January 2019 by a police officer in Sunset and a search warrant was issued on April 11 and MacFarlane was taken into custody.

During the execution of the search warrant, officers found evidence corroborating the teen’s story and said they have a lot of evidence supporting her version of events, documents state. 

Police said in the report they believe MacFarlane is a substantial danger to the teen victim and others in the community and is likely to flee due to the seriousness of the charges. He is currently being held in the Davis County Jail without bail.

A background check on MacFarlane shows he has a history of misdemeanor charges including sexual solicitation, disorderly conduct and assault. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100. Resources are also available for victims of human trafficking at 1-888-373-7888 or you can text “befree” to 233733.

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