Idaho man pleads not guilty in sex-slave case

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - A south-central Idaho man charged with repeatedly raping and beating a woman and holding her prisoner for 18 months in a booby-trapped home has pleaded not guilty.

Oscar Ayala-Arizmendi, 36, made the plea in 5th District Court, The Times-News reports in a story on Friday.

He's charged with first-degree kidnapping, rape and possessing a controlled substance. A trial is set for Nov. 17. He's being held in the Twin Falls County Jail on $1 million bail.

The woman escaped from the house in Buhl on April 8, and she made a report on April 26, authorities said. Ayala-Arizmendi was taken into custody May 13.

The woman told police that Ayala-Arizmendi forced her to smoke methamphetamine once or twice a week, sometimes held a gun to her head, and often put a rope around her neck and led her around the house "like a dog."

Authorities searched the house near U.S. Highway 30 and reported finding chains and locks mounted to walls and floors, chains on exterior doors, a handgun, and an electrical wire system intended to shock anyone trying to escape.

The woman testified in a previous court hearing that the first week of April her brother and some of his friends came to take her away from Ayala-Arizmendi's home.

Under cross-examination at the previous hearing by Ayala-Arizmendi's attorney, Keith Roark, the woman said she sometimes drove around Buhl and could have gone to the police but didn't do so.

But she also testified that she wanted Ayala-Arizmendi to let her go rather than her breaking out of the house. She said she left the house a few times, but Ayala-Arizmendi or someone else would bring her back.

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Information from: The Times-News