Minnesota prosecutors revealed more details about the case of a 15-year-old girl from Alexandria who was abducted from her home and held captive for 29 days before she swam across a lake to safety.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, three suspects have been charged in the kidnapping and alleged assault: Thomas Barker, 32, (pictured left), Joshua Holby, 31, (pictured center), and Stephen Powers, 20, (pictured right), are all suspected of participating in abduction, false imprisonment, and sexual assault.
According to Fox 9, the suspects made an initial court appearance on Thursday, during which prosecutors detailed the teen’s ordeal and elaborated on the accusations.
Prosecutors reportedly said the girl was “treated like an animal” and carried in a duffel bag to multiple locations after her captors became worried that police would discover they were keeping the 15-year-old against her will at Barker’s home, where Holby was also living.
Barker is reportedly a family friend, and he went to the girl’s home on August 8 asking her for help dealing with his son. She agreed to help him and got into his vehicle, believing they were going to a home nearby in Alexandria. Instead, he drove her to his home in Carlos where he allegedly restrained her with zip ties, threatened to kill her with a gun, and sexually assaulted her.
The girl, who will not be identified as she is believed to be a victim of a sexual assault, reportedly told police that Barker and Powers sexually assaulted her at various times during her nearly monthlong ordeal. She was allegedly forced to have sex with or perform oral sex on either of them more than a dozen times.
The suspects also allegedly tried to kill her multiple times. In one instance, Barker allegedly tried to drown her in a bathtub. In another, the suspects allegedly tied a rope around her neck that was presumably attached to something on the ceiling while she was standing on a bucket. Holden then forced her off the bucket, and she couldn’t breathe.
The teenager escaped from the house on Tuesday after the suspects left her alone in the house for the first time. She reportedly banged on neighbors’ doors for help, and when no one in the immediate vicinity answered the door, she swam across a lake and went to a home where a resident was able to help her.
The brave teen also reportedly helped police apprehend the suspects by describing the vehicle they were driving.
Feature photo: Alexandria Police