A man who was released from prison in 2010 after serving 11 years on a rape conviction has been arrested again on sexual assault charges. Allegedly the man abducted two women from near a truck stop in Joplin, Missouri, and took them across state lines to Oklahoma. They say he eventually dropped them off at Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, where he was arrested in the parking lot a short time later.

Authorities were not initially sure where to issue charges, because the women said it was dark and they were unfamiliar with the area. A deputy from the sheriff’s department in Nowata County, Oklahoma, says that police believe the younger of the two women was raped inside a barn on a farm southwest of Nowata, so prosecutors will bring rape charges against the man in Nowata County.

The women, ages 39 and 29, said that the man forced them to perform sexual acts on him as he drove them from Missouri to Oklahoma after the alleged kidnapping. The women had scheduled to meet the man near the truck stop in Joplin, but the nature of their expected meeting was not disclosed. An affidavit filed in Missouri says the man punched them, bound their hands with duct tape and zip ties, and forced them to get into his pickup truck. The younger women alleged that she was pulled back by her hair when she tried to run away.

While allegations such as these are very serious and convictions would be punishable by long prison sentences, it is important to keep in mind that someone charged with crimes such as these is entitled to prove his innocence in court. Securing the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney is paramount for someone whose freedom is on the line.

Source: The Joplin Globe, “Alleged abductor to face charge of rape in Oklahoma,” Jeff Lehr, Jan. 3, 2012