Sunset man facing aggravated human trafficking charge

Ryan A. MacFarlane. Photo Courtesy: Davis County Jail

SUNSET, Utah, April 11, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Sunset man is facing charges including aggravated human trafficking, a first-degree felony, after allegedly forcing a 16-year-old girl to offer sexual favors to truck drivers in exchange for money. Investigators say he also sexually assaulted the teen himself.

A probable cause statement from the Second District Court of Farmington said Ryan A. MacFarlane, 47, is also charged with:

  • Human trafficking of a child, a first-degree felony
  • Rape, a first-degree felony
  • Object rape, a first-degree felony
  • Forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony
  • Kidnapping, a second-degree felony
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17-year-old– object penetration, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Unlawfully providing shelter to a runaway, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

The Utah Attorney General’s Office received information from the interstate compact regarding a runaway juvenile female from Utah who had been located in the Denver area in November 2017, the statement said.

The juvenile was located by Denver officers on report of a suspicious person high on methamphetamine who was brought to Denver Health Medical Center by ambulance. She told officers she was from Utah and had come to Colorado by exchanging sexual favors with “a white dude who gave her a ride.”

The victim then disclosed that she had been sex trafficked in Utah and Colorado.

The victim was then interviewed, and said that when she was in Salt Lake City in 2017, before coming to Colorado, a man she later identified as MacFarlane drove up to her and asked her if she needed a ride. She said she got in the car with MacFarlane, and told him she was 16 years old and a runaway and that she had run away from her foster home in Utah.

“She stated that MacFarlane then had her give him oral sex in the car and that he drove her to a storage unit,” the statement said.

She stated that MacFarlane had a mattress inside the storage unit where they had sex approximately eight to 10 times. She stated that she was scared of the suspect, and that he would choke her while they were having sex because it turned him on and that this scared her. She stated MacFarlane kept calling her “a ho and a slut.”

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She stated that after leaving the storage unit, the suspect took her to his house where he lives with his mom in Sunset. She said that there was a white and brown camper trailer in the driveway of the residence and that MacFarlane had her stay in this trailer so that his mom wouldn’t see her. She stated that after MacFarlane’s mom left the house, he brought her inside and sexually assaulted her on the couch. She then said she told MacFarlane she needed to get out of Utah because she was a 16-year-old runaway and that police would be looking for her.

She stated that MacFarlane rented a car and drove her to Denver.

“She stated that along the way, MacFarlane stopped at truck stops and told her that they needed to make money for food and places to stay,” the statement said. “MacFarlane instructed her to approach truck drivers at the truck stops and solicit them oral or regular sex in exchange for money. When she reported back to MacFarlane she would tell him that the truckers weren’t interested.”

The suspect eventually left the victim in Denver.

In a subsequent meeting the victim told investigators she remembered more details of the house she was taken to by MacFarlane and described it in detail. She also described in detail a Jeep that was in the driveway. While conducting surveillance of the residence detectives took photographs which they say matched the teen’s descriptions. Police said she also accurately described the inside of the house and the inside of the trailer.

In a third interview, she identified MacFarlane from a photo lineup of six people.

On Thursday, April 11, agents with the Utah Attorney General’s Office executed a search warrant on the suspect’s residence in Sunset, and also on the trailer parked in the driveway of the residence. Inside the trailer, agents located evidence that matched exactly what the victim stated. Other items of evidence and corroborating information was also located.

At the time of MacFarlane’s arrest he had in his possession a baggie which contained a green organic substance, later identified as marijuana.

MacFarlane was transported to Davis County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

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