A man has been charged in Washington County with the brutal rape of a woman, who was held down in his basement by three of his other girlfriend.
Lawson Waples Ward, 39, of Forest Lake, has been charged with 2 counts of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with an assault on a 21-year-old woman.
Warning: This story contains details that are upsetting.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim had been seeing Waples Ward having known him for a year, and had gone to his home in Forest Lake on the evening of Nov. 16.
Waples Ward began to perform oral sex on her, which she told police she didn't want, but didn't say anything at the time.
Three women then came down into the basement, all of them Waples Ward's girlfriends and all of whom are under criminal investigation.
The victim told Waples Ward she wasn't comfortable continuing with the women there, but he told her to "go with the flow" while the women tried to talk her into continuing.
When she said she wanted to stop, the women held the victim down by the arms and legs, at which point Waples Ward produced a series of sex toys.
The victim told police she'd learned during the course of their relationship that he was into BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism) though she wasn't, and they'd never engaged in it together.
Waples Ward proceeded to rape her with sex toys and with his penis as the women held her down, with one of the women taking over the assault at one point.
The assault lasted for around 2 hours despite her yelling for them to stop, with Waples Ward at one point striking her in the genitals multiple times with both his hand and a paddle.
The victim said she was hit with such force there was a handprint visible for days after the incident.
After the attack ended, the victim slept for an hour before being driven home. She reported it to police 10 days later, and says since the assault has been suffering continual pain numbness.
In the days after the assault, the victim exchanged text messages with Waples Ward and told him he was upset about what had happened. She also received a text from the woman who had assaulted her, who sent a picture of the assault happening.
Waples Ward is seen in the photograph, which also showed the victim being held down.
Waples Ward was also the subject of a New Jersey arrest warrant for not complying with his requirements as a sex offender.
His criminal history includes aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, robbery, and resisting arrest.
The woman involved in the assault told police that she, Waples Ward and two other women had a sexual encounter with the victim, but claims it was consensual.