Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex Slaves: The Psychology of Mastery

Russian Captives

Lena in the dungeon
Lena in the dungeon

Near Moscow, Viktor Mokhov had built an eight by ten foot prison in his cellar, based on his experience in the military. In September 2000, he kidnapped two girls, Lena, 17, and Katya, 14, looking for a ride from a disco, and held them as his sex slaves. They remained under his control for nearly four years. All they had, according to Will Stewart and Amanda Hoyle in the London Mirror, were an electric oven, bed linens, a tape recorder, a heater, paper, and pens. Mokhov used the electricity and oxygen supply to control them, cutting it off if they refused to participate in his daily sexual demands.

Katerina in the dungeon
Katerina in the dungeon

At one point about a month into their captivity, they attempted to overcome and kill Mokhov, but he proved too strong for them, and when they pleaded with him to let them go, he said he planned to keep them for 20 years.

Apparently he enjoyed the idea of creating babies, because he told them that they'd both give him ten children. Lena got pregnant twice and gave birth in the dungeon, assisted by Katya, who had a medical book that Mokhov had allowed her to use. Within weeks, he removed the babies, both of them boys, and left them on random doorsteps in Skopin for adoption.

Lena was pregnant again and about to give birth when she finally escaped in 2004, via a note smuggled out on an audiotape and found by another girl in the house above the dungeon. As authorities helped the girls out of the cellar, their skin was a greenish color from lack of exposure to sunlight, and their expressions were dazed from living so long in such unfathomable conditions. It was just by mere chance that they were free and their captor arrested, given 17 years in a labor camp and two more in prison.

Although most abductors desire access to sex or to acting out their personal deviance, cult leaders may use a form or slavery merely as a means of inflicting their will. Sex is simply the tool.

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