A man and a boy have both been charged with the kidnapping and rape of a woman after they abducted her outside her Uptown apartment building.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged 23-year-old Deonte Lawson and 17-year-old Darrius Freeman with multiple sexual assault crimes, as well as kidnapping and car theft.
A third person was involved in the assault and is likely to be charged soon as well.
The victim, in her 20s, was subjected to a terrifying kidnapping and attack, before she managed to escape their clutches.
"This was a horrendous ordeal for the young woman and she rightly feared for her life," Mike Freeman said. "She showed great courage and cleverness in finally escaping. Police did a good job of investigating and we expect to prove the case in court and then ask for high sentences."
Taken from outside her apartment
On the evening of Oct. 15, the criminal complaint says the woman was getting something out of the trunk of her vehicle, when she was forced to get into her car at gunpoint by three males.
They took her credit card, stopping for food at a White Castle while she stayed in the back seat, before taking her to a "secluded, wooded area" that the victim believes was somewhere in Minneapolis.
It was there she was forced to perform sex acts on the trio, before being held by two of them while the other raped her.
She later told police that she thought she was going to die as she was being overpowered during the assault.
Her brave escape
After the assault, she was driven to a remote, rural area and at this point she was worried they were going to kill her.
She managed to persuade them that they needed to stop for gas otherwise they'd not be able to get back to Minneapolis.
They agreed, stopping in Scandia in Washington County – about 40 miles northeast of Minneapolis – at which point she was able to escape the car and run barefoot into the woods nearby.
She hid behind a tree while one of the three tried to look for her, before they eventually left.
The gas station was closed but she banged on the door until the owners who lived above opened the door and called the police for her.
The attackers are caught
Police were able to track purchases made using the victim's credit card, with spending noted at stores including Foot Locker, Walmart, and Holiday and Super America gas stations.
It was Freeman who was caught first, just the next day, after police responded to a report of reckless driving and found Freeman in the driver's seat of the car – the victim's car.
Lawson was identified using the surveillance footage taken from when the credit card was being used.
Police noticed the shoes worn by one of the attackers were the same as those worn by Lawson when he was booked into jail a week earlier.
DNA testing subsequently tied both of them and the other juvenile to the attack.