Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorensen, an Iowa couple who held a 20-year-old woman as a sex slave for 18 days in January this year, sadistically torturing her and forcing her into sexual acts with men who answered advertisements the couple placed on Craigslist, learned their fate in a federal courtroom last week — and it was a harsh one, even though both convicts attempted to apologize to their victim.
Sorenson, 31, even said that despite medieval tortures she and her partner inflicted on the woman — atrocities that included driving nails through the helpless victim’s feet, pouring bleach into her open wounds, and scalding her flesh with hot metal — her crimes did not make her “a bad person.”
The case made national headlines early this year when the woman was rescued by Kevin Kimmel, a truck driver who was taking a break at a truck stop when he saw the obviously distressed young woman peeking out from behind curtain in Hodza and Sorensen’s recreational vehicle.
With the victim sitting silently in the United States District Courtroom in Virginia, Hodza — who committed many of the unspeakable acts of torture as his own 8-year-old daughter looked on — told Judge Henry Hudson that he’d learned his lesson.
“This is monstrous, horrible, senseless, inexplicable, inexcusable,” said Hodza. “I offer sincere apologies. I know that doesn’t mean much because I can’t take back what happened.”
But Hudson, citing what he called the “unusual and rare level of depravity” exhibited by the couple, hit them with sentences of 41 years and eight months for Hodza and an even 40 for Sorenson. That was significantly more than the 35-year bids prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed upon when the couple struck a plea bargain.
Hodza and Sorensen had also faced abduction charges, which would have carried potential life terms. To avoid life in prison, they agreed to plead guilty to sex trafficking charges.
Hodza and Sorensen kidnapped the victim from her Iowa home in December, taking her on a nightmarish cross-country journey that ended in Virginia when Kimmel intervened.
Not only did they physically torture the young woman and force her into prostitution, they tormented her psychologically as well, threatening to kill both her and her family in unspeakable ways.
At one point, Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorenesen slit the throat of their own pet dog and forced the woman to watch the animal’s horrifying death, promising her that an even worse fate awaited her if she attempted to flee.
[Images: Henrico Jail East]