By Associated Press - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon woman was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for beating a woman with a wooden closet rod while she was held captive in her home, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The woman had been trapped in 46-year-old Irish Boyce’s West Salem home for six weeks when she was discovered in October 2015 by police, the Statesman Journal reported.

The victim went there in search of heroin but was tied to a bed, beaten, sexually assaulted and tortured over the course of days, prosecutors said.

Boyce’s then-boyfriend, Ronnie Lee Jr., 48, was convicted on more than two dozen counts in the case earlier this month ranging from methamphetamine charges to second-degree kidnapping to first-degree rape, sodomy and unlawful sexual penetration, the newspaper reported. He was sentenced to more than 105 years in prison on Nov. 22.

Boyce pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and testified against Lee as part of a plea deal. In exchange, Polk County prosecutors agreed to a sentence of five years and 10 months. Authorities said Boyce was present at her home and participated in some of the attacks.

Boyce testified that she was afraid of what Lee would do to her if she didn’t do as he told her and that she also feared for the safety of her son, daughter and toddler grandson.

She testified that Lee would tire of the sex and turn to violence and drugs. She said he hit the victim in the head with his machete and refused to let her eat or sleep.

As he smoked methamphetamine and stayed up for days, Lee’s paranoia worsened. He accused the women of conspiring against him, Boyce testified.

She said Lee threatened to slit her grandson’s throat at a nearby park and told her, “If you tell anybody what is going on … I will kill your family.”

The victim told the court during Lee’s trial that she was given little food, and she feared she would never leave the residence.

The nightmare came to an end, Boyce said, when one of her relatives asked police to do a welfare check because they feared she was being abused.

She told the officer who came to the door that everything was fine, but mouthed that she needed help, the newspaper reported.

The officer walked her down the street, where she revealed that a woman was being held captive in her house.

As part of her deal, prosecutors dismissed 23 charges.

She will receive credit for time served and be eligible for reduced sentencing, work release and alternative incarceration programs.


Information from: Statesman Journal,

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