- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - A magistrate judge has ruled there is enough evidence to move to district court the case against a south-central Idaho man accused of repeatedly raping and beating a woman and holding her prisoner for 18 months in a booby-trapped home.

The Times-News reported (https://bit.ly/1nUn6T1) on Wednesday that Magistrate Judge Thomas Kershaw made the decision after hearing testimony from the 27-year-old woman on Friday.

The woman testified the attacks, “happened every day.”

Oscar Ayala-Arizmendi is charged with first-degree kidnapping, rape and possessing a controlled substance.

Authorities say the woman escaped from the house in Buhl on April 8, and made a report on April 26. Ayala-Arizmendi was taken into custody May 13. Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said that following the woman’s report, police worked to collect enough evidence to make the arrest.

The woman told police that Ayala-Arizmendi forced her to smoke meth once or twice a week, sometimes held a gun to her head, and often put a rope around her neck and led her around the house “like a dog.”

Authorities searched the house near U.S. Highway 30 and reported finding chains and locks mounted to walls and floors, chains on exterior doors, a handgun, and an electrical wire system intended to shock anyone trying to escape.

The woman testified Friday that the first week of April her brother and some of his friend came to take her away from Ayala-Arizmendi’s home.

“All the stuff that I had was the stuff on my back, the clothes, and that was it,” she said.

Under cross-examination by Ayala-Arizmendi’s attorney, Keith Roark, the woman said she sometimes drove around Buhl and could have gone to the police but didn’t.

When Twin Falls County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Suzanne Craig re-examined her, she said she wanted Ayala-Arizmendi to let her go rather than her breaking out of the house.

She said she left the house a few times, but Ayala-Arizmendi or someone else would bring her back.

Roark didn’t return a call from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Ayala-Arizmendi is being held in the Twin Falls County Jail on $1 million bail. His next court appearance is June 9.


Information from: The Times-News, https://www.magicvalley.com

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