ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa police arrest man accused of trafficking teen girls for sex

Oct 23, 2020, 6:50 AM | Updated: 2:35 pm
(Mesa Police Department Photo)...
(Mesa Police Department Photo)
(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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels photo)...
Associated Press

Teen boy found shot to death in San Tan Valley home

Authorities in Pinal County are investigating the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)...
Danny Shapiro

Hoffman says ruling against mask mandate bans in Arizona schools ‘right decision’

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said a Monday ruling that a law banning face mask mandates in Arizona schools violates the state constitution and can’t go into effect this week as scheduled was the right move for students, parents and administrators.
1 day ago
(ADOT photo)...
KTAR.com

I-17 south of downtown Phoenix back to 3 lanes as bridge project nears completion

The third lane in each direction of Interstate 17 south of downtown Phoenix has reopened after more than a year as a bridge project nears completion.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Valley nonprofit to build affordable housing for seniors with $9.1M federal grant

An Arizona nonprofit will receive $9.1 million in federal funding to develop affordable housing in the West Valley city of Surprise for low-income seniors.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

1 child dead, another critically hurt after being shot at south Phoenix residence

One child is dead and another was in critical condition Monday after being shot at a residence in south Phoenix, police said.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)...
Kevin Stone

Judge strikes down Arizona law banning face mask mandates in schools

An Arizona Superior Court judge ruled that a law banning face mask mandates in schools violates the state constitution and can't go into effect this week as scheduled.
1 day ago
Mesa police arrest man accused of trafficking teen girls for sex