Man accused of repeatedly raping woman during her three-month captivity

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(CNN) — South Carolina authorities say a convicted sex offender held a woman against her will for three months, repeatedly beating and raping her during the captivity.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department arrested Paul Thomas Rawl Jr. on Tuesday. He’s been charged with kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. The sheriff’s department said he held his 52-year-old girlfriend captive in a Pelion home — about 20 miles southwest of Columbia — from July 1 until Monday.

“They broke up, and they recently got back together,” Lexington Sheriff James R. Metts told CNN affiliate WIS. “This time, things weren’t the same. He kidnapped her, and wouldn’t let her leave.”

The arrest warrant alleges that Rawl, who is also 52, confined his victim to a bedroom that he kept under surveillance and barricaded shut. The victim has not been named.

The details of the case are harrowing.

According to Metts, Rawl would force her to swallow a Xanax pill every night before sexually assaulting her, and that he “used aggravated force to accomplish sexual battery as many as nine times daily.”

The warrant alleges he threatened to kill her with a loaded bow and arrow, and on one occasion, rammed her head rammed so hard into a wall that it made a hole.

“Rawl physically assaulted (her) in such a manner that (she) feared imminent bodily injury or death,” Metts said in a statement.

Authorities said she was able to escape Tuesday when she persuaded Rawl to take her to a medical exam — but not before one final act of cruelty.

“Rawl forced the woman to perform a sexual act on him on Tuesday before he agreed to take the woman to the medical office.”

He was denied bond and ordered to stay in jail on Wednesday, according to WIS. His next court date is scheduled for December 19.

Rawl was convicted in 2000 of criminal sexual conduct. His victim in that case was a 12-year-old girl.

By Kevin Conlon

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