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Mesa police arrest man accused of trafficking teen girls for sex

(Mesa Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX – Police in Mesa arrested a man they said met underage teen girls online and then used them as prostitutes.

Jason Vangundy, 37, of Phoenix, was charged with child sex trafficking and three other felonies, police said Thursday in a press release.

Police said one of the girls told them that she and three other runaways were living in an apartment with Vangundy and that he had bought them cellphones to arrange sexual encounters with men for money.

The encounters with men were set at Valley hotels, according to the release.

Another girl told investigators she felt compelled to perform the sex acts for money because Vangundy had provided her with food and shelter.

At least two of the girls are 17 and 16, one of the girls said.

Authorities said Vangundy admitted that while one of the girls had given him money and that he had bought phones for the girls and paid for hotel rooms, he was not involved in prostitution.

Vangundy was also charged with child sex trafficking transportation, illegal control of an enterprise with minors and money laundering.

Bond was set at $250,000.

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