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Davis County man charged with raping, kidnapping, sex trafficking teen girl in 2017

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Apr 23rd, 2019 @ 8:01am


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SUNSET — A Davis County man who once ran for mayor in North Salt Lake has been charged with raping, kidnapping and sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl in 2017 after she ran away from her foster care home, according to court documents.

Ryan A. MacFarlane, 47, was arrested April 11 and booked into the Davis County Jail. He was charged Wednesday in Second District Court in Davis County with rape, human trafficking of a child, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, forcible sodomy and object rape, all first-degree felonies, according to court documents.

The charges stem from an investigation that started in November 2017 after law enforcement officials located the 16-year-old in Denver, charging documents state. She told investigators there that she got to Colorado by “exchanging sexual favors” with a man who gave her a ride, according to an arrest report.

MacFarlane approached the girl a few days after Halloween and asked if she needed a ride, and she got in his car, charging documents state. She told him that she was a 16-year-old runaway, according to the arrest report.

During the car ride, MacFarlane forced the girl to perform a sex act on him, according to the charges.

The pair then arrived at a storage unit, which had a bed inside, and they had sex there multiple times over 4 or 5 hours, according to charging documents.

The girl told investigators that she was “scared” and “creeped out" during the encounters, the arrest report states. She also told them that MacFarlane said "that he wished he could 'keep her,'" according to charging documents.

Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant for a storage facility listed on a receipt found in MacFarlane's parents' home, which matched a description given by the teen. Photo: Steve Breinholt, KSL TV

MacFarlane also took the girl to his mother's house, charging documents state.

While at the house, the girl was forced to sleep in a trailer in the driveway on a cushion that was too small, the arrest report states. She also had to use a toilet in the trailer that did not flush.

The girl told investigators MacFarlane had her stay in the trailer because he did not want his mother to know about the girl "because she was so young," according to charging documents.

He sexually assaulted the teen at the home, charging documents state.

The girl told investigators she felt "like she did not have any control over her own body" during the assault, charging documents state.

Sometime later, the girl again told MacFarlane she was a 16-year-old runaway and that she needed to get out of Utah because “they would be looking for her,” according to the arrest report.

She told investigators MacFarlane said he would help her leave Utah, charging documents state.

Wyoming to Denver

Shortly afterward, MacFarlane drove the girl through Wyoming to Denver, charging documents state. During the trip, MacFarlane told the girl to solicit sex for money because they needed to pay for food and places to stay, the arrest report states.

She told investigators MacFarlane asked her to approach truck drivers at truck stops and charge money in exchange for various sex acts, according to charging documents.

She did not want to do this, so she "would ask the truck drivers for a ride. She reported that they declined and she ultimately returned to MacFarlane and told him the truck drivers were not interested," charging documents state.

In Colorado, MacFarlane stopped at "various locations" and would have the teen go "out to engage in commercial sex," according to charging documents. The teen instead tried asking for rides; when people said, "no," she would go back to MacFarlane and say people declined her offers.


(She) would ask the truck drivers for a ride. She reported that they declined and she ultimately returned to MacFarlane and told him the truck drivers were not interested, charging documents state.

When the two arrived in Denver, they parked at a mall and MacFarlane talked with the teen about soliciting sex for money and the prices she should charge, charging documents state. He also told her to meet him near a specific store. She left a backpack in the car to convince MacFarlane she would come back, but she did not return to the car, according to charging documents.

She was admitted to a hospital on Nov. 17, 2017, and police were notified, according to the charging documents.

The girl did not remember MacFarlane’s last name until another interview with investigators in October 2018, charging documents state. She subsequently identified him in a photo lineup.

In a January interview with investigators, the teen gave details about the layout of home and trailer she visited with MacFarlane, according to charging documents.

Law enforcement agents carried out a search warrant on MacFarlane’s parents' Sunset home and the trailer in the driveway of the home on April 11, charging documents state. They found items and circumstances that matched what the girl described, according to the charges.

They also executed a search warrant for a storage facility listed on a receipt found in MacFarlane's parents' home, which matched a description given by the teen, and contained a mattress and clothes, charging documents state.

The girl also told investigators that MacFarlane was pulled over in Wyoming and cited for speeding when the two were en route to Colorado, charging documents state. Investigators confirmed with the Wyoming Highway Patrol that MacFarlane was indeed pulled over and cited for speeding about the same timeframe as the teen described, according to the charges.

Investigators: Not first or last victim

Investigators believe the girl was not MacFarlane’s first or last victim, Utah Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations and Public Corruption Unit section chief Brendan Call told KSL TV.

The attorney general’s office is asking anyone who recognizes MacFarlane or his name, or anyone who thinks they may know a possible victim, to call the office at 801-281-1200, Call said.

Cases like these happen more often in Utah than people might think, Call said.

“They’re not easy to prove, they're really complex,” he said. “They’re difficult and as you can imagine … it’s very hard for the victims to come forward to us.”

He said it takes a long time for victims in such cases to build trust with law enforcement officials.

MacFarlane ran for mayor of North Salt Lake in 2013, according to a report from the Ogden Standard-Examiner. He was listed as an entrepreneur and business owner.

MacFarlane remained held without bail in Davis County Jail as of Monday. His initial court appearance was Friday, and his next appearance is a bail hearing scheduled for May 8.

Contributing: Andrew Adams, Steven Breinholt, KSL TV

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Jacob Klopfenstein

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