A Florida couple allegedly held a pregnant woman and her young daughter hostage for about two weeks. The woman was sexually assaulted in front of her daughter and had her life threatened with a hammer. Manuel Escobar, 32, and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Tahlia Ortiz, were arrested on Tuesday in connection to the crime, according to People.
It all started when Escobar and the 18-week-pregnant woman had an argument over the phone on July 5. The next day, he allegedly beat her up, smashed her cell phone, and choked her. He then allegedly called Ortiz, asking “if he should just kill her,” investigators alleged in court documents. Instead, he allegedly forced her and her daughter into his truck, and drove them to his home where he is accused of continually beating and sexually abusing her in front of the daugther. Ortiz is also accused of participating in the sexual assaults.
Escobar “taunted her [the woman] with a hammer, threatening to ‘bash [her] head in,’” the Naples Daily News reported. When Escobar went to work on July 17, the woman and her daughter were able to escape. The age of the daugther was not reported.
Neither Escobar or Ortiz have responded to the allegations in court. They face charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, among others.
[Photo: Lee County Sheriff’s Office]