CLIVE, Iowa–Police say a young southern Iowa woman was abducted by a Clive couple and taken across the country.
Court records show, Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorensen lived at a Clive apartment complex in the 8000 block of Harbach Boulvard, before police say they kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused the woman.
It’s evidence that sex trafficking happens right here in Iowa.
“There is no longer a question of whether it is, it most certainly is, in fact we`ve had human trafficking cases in Iowa since 2005,” says Senior Criminal Investigator Mike Ferjak.
Ferjak is the head of the human trafficking task force for the State of Iowa.
He says the case of Hodza and Sorensen shows why the public’s help is critical in stopping this crime.
It was a trucker who notified police about suspicious activity coming from Hodza’s RV at a truck stop in the state of Virginia.
“He did exactly what we would encourage anyone to do in that situation. If you see something, say something,” says Ferjak.
Ferjak says Hodza and Sorensen appeared to know what they were doing.
The police report shows, “The couple had branded her back, burned her in other locations and cut her feet.”
“What it`s referred to as is the seasoning process and this is all intended to intimidate you to a position where you won`t even try to get away because you`re very sure the punishment will happen,” says Ferjak.
Records state the victim was forced to perform sex acts on Hodza and an unknown male who answered an ad posted on a Craigslist.
Court documents show the victim told police, “No one thought she was missing at home because the two made her communicate with family in the way that they wanted to or they would punish her.”
“That is one of the things that typically happens to avoid raising suspicions or questions. It would not be unusual at all to force the person to make those calls and to try and reassure whoever is looking for them that they`re fine and make up some excuse,” says Ferjak.
Ferjak says sex trafficking can happen anywhere, and even the smallest tip could save someone’s life.
“The thing a lot of people will do is talk themselves out of making a report because they`re not sure. We don`t require you to be sure about anything, if you don`t think it`s right say something.”
Court records show Hodza was employed at a Des Moines septic tank company while Sorensen is listed as unemployed.
Both are being held in the Henrico Jail in Virginia both charged with abduction of a person with intent to defile. It’s an offense in the state of Virginia that’s punishable by death.