A married lesbian couple in Indiana have reported being held prisoner for days, being beaten and denied food or water.
Three men and one woman, aged in their 20s and 30s, face a swathe of charges for the crime, including kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery and rape.
The two women say they travelled to a house in east-Indianapolis to do heroin on November 10. The house reportedly belonged to the female attacker, Melissa Richards.
One of the women borrowed Richards’ car, who became angry when it wasn’t returned fast enough.
“I’m keeping your wife until I get my car back,” Richards said, according to the affidavit, as reported by the Indianapolis Star.
The victim was bound and beaten, and held in a large closet, where she says, Kenneth Braswell, another attacker, pulled down her pants and raped her.
“If you scream, I’ll hurt you,” she said he told her.
Braswell has denied the charges of physical and sexual assault.
When her wife returned the next day, both were bound and forced into the basement where they were pistol-whipped and beaten.
One of the women said she witnessed her wife beaten “to the point that…I didn’t know if she was alive anymore.”
They were kept in the basement for three days, and were apparently only given food and water once, which they were unable to eat because of their injuries.
After three days, the women were put into the car to be driven out of the city. They overheard the men saying they planned to kill the women, and knew someone who could help them dispose of the bodies.
En route, the car punctured a tyre, and went to a convenience store to wait for help. The women begged to use the store’s bathroom, and in a moment of opportunity, were allowed to.
Inside, they begged a worker in the shop to call for help, and locked themselves in the bathroom until the police arrived.
The two men were arrested at the scene, while the other two attackers were apprehended at Richards’ home
Both women had cuts and bruises on their faces, and one had a broken collarbone.
“Everybody seen it,” one of the victims told the police. “Everybody knows about it that was in the house, and nobody did anything.”
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Records indicate that the three men are scheduled to appear for a jury trial in January.
If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999.
Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.