West Salem man convicted of kidnapping, raping woman for 44 days

A West Salem man was convicted of kidnapping, sexually abusing and raping a woman for 44 days following a two-day trial that ended Wednesday. 

Polk County Judge Norman Hill found Ronnie Lee Jr., 48, guilty of 29 counts, which ranged from methamphetamine charges to second-degree kidnapping to first-degree rape, sodomy and unlawful sexual penetration. 

He was found not guilty on five misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree assault. 

Lee was arrested Oct. 25, 2015, after police discovered a woman being held captive at a West Salem home owned by Lee's then-girlfriend, Irish Boyce, 46.

The victim told police she'd been trapped at the house at 2100 Marvin Court NW for six weeks. She said she was raped, beaten by Boyce with a closet rod, starved and made to sleep on the bathroom floor. 

More: Woman held captive at Salem home recounts 44 days of 'torture'

Boyce and Lee were arrested and charged in the kidnapping, rape and assault of the woman. 

After months of trying to move the trial location outside of Polk County and attempting to dismiss evidence, Lee waived his right to a jury trial and opted instead to face a trial by judge. 

Boyce pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in 2016 and testified against Lee on Tuesday. 

The victim, the victim's mother and responding officers also testified before Hill during the trial. 

In her opening arguments, prosecutor Jayme Kimberly said Lee tortured the victim and ordered Boyce to do the same. They cut the victim's hair, sprayed her with bleach and threatened to cut out her eyes, she said. 

Lee's attorney Mark Brownlee said the context of the alleged assault and kidnapping took place in the "drug world." The victim recently had been released from jail and was looking to find some heroin. Brownlee pointed out that many drug deals involve trading drugs for sex. The victim denied ever engaging in such a trade. 

Hill delivered his verdict Wednesday afternoon. 

Kimberly confirmed the guilty verdict but declined to comment further pending Lee's sentencing.

Lee is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. on Nov. 22 at Polk County Circuit Court. 

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at wmwoodwort@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth

© 2017 KGW-TV


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