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SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of forcing a woman, who police say has an intellectual disability, to have sex with other people so they could buy food and clothes — as well as subjecting her to other forms of abuse — has been arrested.
Ryan Lewis Olpin, 49, who is homeless, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with human trafficking of a vulnerable adult and aggravated kidnapping, both first-degree felonies; and aggravated assault and aggravated exploitation of prostitution, both second-degree felonies.
The investigation began on Feb. 8 when the Utah Attorney General's Office received a tip from employees at a local rehab and mental health facility that a patient "was potentially being trafficked for commercial sex" by her boyfriend, according to a police booking affidavit.
On Feb. 10, Olpin was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault and unlawful detention after stabbing the 43-year-old woman in the leg at a Midvale motel, a second police affidavit states. While investigating that incident, police learned that Olpin had twice forced the woman to eat his feces, the most recent incident being about a month earlier, the affidavit states.
After that arrest, the woman was willing to talk to detectives.
"She told law enforcement that she had been with Olpin for several years, during the course of which she had exchanged sex acts for food, clothes, 'funds,' alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics," the affidavit states. She told investigators about one specific incident in which Olpin "had recruited, encouraged and facilitated a sexual encounter" with another man in exchange for marijuana and meth, according to the affidavit.
But the woman refused to have sex with the man, which angered Olpin.
"(She) told investigators that she was scared of Olpin and Olpin was angry and telling (her) they needed money for rent and she needed to trade for rent money," according to charging documents, including that by "trade," Olpin meant exchange sexual acts for money.
Olpin stabbed the woman in the leg multiple times when she refused to have sex with a man at the Midvale motel, the charges state.
The woman also said she had been choked and beaten throughout the relationship and Olpin had threatened to kill her, the affidavit states.
A pair of affidavits describe the woman as a "vulnerable adult" with an "intellectual disability." Investigators believe "she lacks the mental fortitude to understand the seriousness of the incident and may be hesitant to contact 911 in an emergency."
Prosecutors have requested Olpin be held in jail with no bail pending trial, noting that he "has been engaging in a pattern of violent and exploitative behavior toward (the woman) for several years."
Domestic violence resources
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition: Utah's confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
- YWCA Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
- Utah's statewide child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-855-323-DCFS (3237)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting: