Police say husband of soldier kicked, stabbed and raped her

Police say husband of soldier kicked, stabbed and raped her

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:43 pm
By: AP

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL Associated Press Writer EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Fort Bliss soldier’s husband kicked her in the face, stabbed and sexually assaulted her before abducting her from her off-post apartment and driving her to Las Vegas, police alleged in court records Monday. The soldier, who turned up wounded but alive in El Paso Sunday night, was attacked as she entered her apartment about 5:15 p.m. Thursday, police said in an affidavit charging Clinton W. Lewis, 34, with aggravated kidnapping. The Associated Press is no longer identifying the 29-year-old soldier because of the sexual assault allegations. Lewis turned himself into El Paso police Sunday night. He is being held in the El Paso County jail on $75,000 bail. Jail records do not show if he has a lawyer, but he was scheduled to be arraigned today. A police request for an emergency protective order barring Lewis from contacting his wife or being within 200 yards of her was denied overnight. Municipal Judge John Needham said instead that if Lewis is released on bond he is to have no contact with his wife or children. The police affidavit says Lewis was waiting inside the soldier’s apartment and kicked her in the face as she walked through the door. The private first class was stabbed with a kitchen knife, threatened with death, then raped, investigators allege. Investigators said Lewis then drove the soldier more than 720 miles to Las Vegas, apparently boarding an El Paso-bound bus sometime Saturday. Lewis is wanted in Tennessee on a warrant for not paying back child support and has a decade-long criminal history that includes several arrests for assault and domestic assault. El Paso Police Officer Chris Mears said the soldier was able to convince Lewis to take her back to El Paso from Las Vegas. When they arrived at a downtown bus station, they saw news reports of the case and went to a police station, Mears said. The 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck they were traveling in was found near a Las Vegas bus station. Las Vegas authorities have impounded the truck and Mears said it will be searched for evidence. Delores Pigeon, the woman’s grandmother, said the soldier called family members early Monday to say her husband kidnapped her, drove her to Nevada and then came back to El Paso to turn himself in. “He took her into Nevada,” Pigeon said. “She said she’s in shock. She’s got two big holes in her legs and she lost a lot of blood.” Army officials at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the Fort Bliss hospital, said the soldier had been treated and released. “I was just so excited last night to hear her voice,” Pigeon said. “She has bumps and bruises all over. You don’t always hear good stories, but thank God this is good.” The soldier, a mother of three, was reported missing Friday after failing to show up for work at Fort Bliss. When soldiers from her unit found her apartment locked and no one apparently inside, they called police. Mears said officers found evidence of a struggle, including bloody clothes and washcloths. They also found an empty roll of duct tape. The woman was planning to leave her husband of two years, said Tammy Skelton, the soldier’s sister. The soldier sent her sister a series of text messages saying that Lewis had left and had even sent a picture that looked like it was taken from inside a Greyhound bus. “She left him an envelope with money and a note telling him to leave and not to come back,” Skelton said. “She was so happy, saying he’s 400 miles away.” By Wednesday afternoon, Skelton said, her sister believed Lewis was gone for good and started making plans to go back to her apartment and start over without him. “Hey sis he’s gone so when my check comes I’m going to buy a futon,” the soldier wrote in the text message Wednesday, Skelton said. “Yeah, he’s gone. Had police go with me yesterday, it’s all clear.” She was last heard from in a text message at 4:56 p.m. Skelton said the pair met about six years ago at a Tennessee night club. At first, Lewis seemed charming and fun, but the relationship soon became tumultuous and, Skelton says, abusive. “He was all charm and fun then I guess,” Skelton said. “He’s a very likable person. He could walk up to you and you’d think he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.” The pair married about two years ago after a series of break ups and make ups. Skelton said her sister was often terrified of Lewis but never made any complaints to police. “She would never tell us the whole story,” Skelton said. Skelton said she constantly urged her sister to leave Lewis. “He told her that if she ever left him, he’d kill her. If he couldn’t have her, no one could,” Skelton said. “I’ve heard him say that myself, several times.” Skelton said her sister joined the Army last year to get away from her husband and start a new life with her children. The children have been living in Tennessee with the soldier’s mother. She planned to moved the children to Texas once she got a place to live on Fort Bliss. The Fort Bliss soldier is the fourth female service member to go missing in recent months, and the only one to survive her ordeal. In January, the body of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, of Vandalia, Ohio, was found in the backyard of a fellow Marine. Cpl. Cesar Laurean fled to Mexico but was captured in April and is now charged with Lauterbach’s murder. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Last month, the decomposing body of Spc. Megan Touma, of Cold Spring, Ky., was found in a motel near Fort Bragg, N.C. No arrests have been made in that case. Earlier this month, Army 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, of Dubuque, Iowa, was found dead three days after a suspicious fire was discovered at her Fayetteville, N.C., apartment. Her husband, Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, was charged with murder. A second Marine is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Published in The Messenger 7.22.08

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