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Idaho man accused of imprisoning woman as sex slave

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - An Idaho man was charged with kidnapping and rape tied to a woman's claims that he forced her to be a sex slave after imprisoning her in a house equipped with chains and locks on walls, floors and doors, authorities said on Thursday.

Oscar Ayala-Arismendiz, in his thirties, is accused of repeatedly drugging and raping the woman and leading her around a house in southern Idaho by a rope tied to her neck, Twin Falls County prosecutors said.

A 27-year-old woman told county sheriff's detectives that Arismendiz imprisoned her for 18 months in two separate houses in a small farming community west of Twin Falls by keeping her "drugged up on meth," and by beating her with a hammer or threatening to chop her into small pieces and flush her down the toilet if she tried to escape, according to legal documents.

The woman told authorities she broke free in early April with the aid of her brother and three others, who used "force and some deception" to extract her with only the clothes on her back, according to court records.

She told detectives Arismendiz began mistreating her, raping her and denying her access to the outdoors and others soon after she began living with him.

He "forced her to smoke meth as much as two or three times a week ... and often would place rope around her neck and lead her around the house 'like a dog,'" a Twin Falls County detective said in a sworn statement.

Detectives who searched Arismendiz's home reported "numerous chains and locking devices mounted on walls and lying in various rooms," boarded windows and a wiring system designed to deliver "a high level of electrical current" to anyone who sought to escape, according to legal documents.

Arismendiz, who prosecutors said is an illegal immigrant, was jailed on Wednesday on $1 million bond on first-degree kidnapping, rape and drug charges.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

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