Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex Slaves: The Psychology of Mastery

Easy Targets

Vance Roberts
Vance Roberts

Vance Roberts, 52, was a fugitive for over 15 years with his half-brother, Paul Jackson, when in September 2006 he finally went back to Oregon to turn himself in. Together the men had allegedly kidnapped two girls, ages 16 and 19, at separate times to keep as sex slaves. Both had been prostitutes, which made them easy to lure and keep. There may have been other victims as well.

The house in which the women were held was anything but comfortable. In fact, as reported in the local news in Portland, Oregon, it was more like a chamber of horrors, where the young women were kept chained in soundproof rooms and sexually abused over a period of several days, even as long as a week.

The situation first came to the attention of the authorities in 1990 when a girl named "Andrea" managed to escape. She went right to the police, afraid for her life, and detectives recalled another girl two years earlier who had reported a similar story. However, she had not known where the house was, so they weren't able to follow through.

Under arrest, the brothers came before the court, and when a judge lowered their bail, their mother paid for it and they promptly left the state. A warrant was issued for their arrest. They were charged, according to CBS News, with rape, kidnap, sodomy, sexual abuse, drug possession and unlawful sexual penetration.

The trial for Roberts was set for Nov. 7, but just before it could begin, his attorney insisted he was not mentally fit and wanted an examination for competency. The judge had Roberts sent to Oregon State Hospital in Salem. Pending the results of the evaluation, all proceedings are on hold, probably for several months. Andrea spoke out, saying she viewed this as his way to "control the whole situation."

Jackson, 36, is still a fugitive. Authorities believe they may have continued to abuse women over the past 15 years. While this story unfolds, others have already been decided.

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