Man charged with raping, beating girlfriend Police say he held woman hostage for three days


County police arrested a Severn man Monday on charges of holding his 22-year-old girlfriend hostage in their home for three days, repeatedly raping and beating her with a belt and burning her hands with a hot spoon after they had an argument Friday night, police said.

The man was arrested about 7: 45 p.m. Monday after his girlfriend persuaded him to let her leave the house to go to work and then called police, said Officer Carol Frye, police spokeswoman.

The woman suffered bruises to her arms, legs, buttocks, back and face, swelling in her left eye and burn marks on her hands and chest, Frye said. The woman was treated at North Arundel Hospital and released, Frye said.

Police charged 24-year-old Ronald Howard with first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense and assault, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment, Frye said.

Frye said Howard, who is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 175 pounds, allegedly began beating the woman Friday evening when she returned to their home in the 1900 block of Arwell Court and they began to argue. Howard allegedly punched her in the face, kicked her in the head with his boot and beat her with a belt buckle and nunchaku, Frye said. Nunchaku are martial-arts weapons consisting of two hardwood sticks connected by a chain or strong cord.

"Then she blacked out and he put her in a bath tub of cold water to wake her up," Frye said. "When she woke up, he started [arguing with] her again and started to beat her again."

Frye said he sexually assaulted the woman later that night after he had apologized. She said Howard did not let the victim leave their home and carried on the sexual assaults and beatings periodically throughout the weekend.

"At one point, he took a spoon from a pan of hot chicken grease and held it onto the backs of her hands," Frye said.

The victim told police that Howard told her not to leave, and she complied because she was afraid of what he would do to her if she did, Frye said.

Frye said the victim called the police Monday night from a neighbor's home after she persuaded Howard to let her go to work.

Pub Date: 6/10/98

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