Grady County Man Accused of Holding Teens Captive30-Mar-2015
Nearly two years ago, a man in a Cleveland neighborhood heard cries for help and made a startling discovery. Three young women who had gone missing more than a decade before had been held captive since their disappearance. Ariel Castro, their captor,pleaded guilty to 937 criminal counts and was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years. Only a month into his life sentence, captivity proved too much for the captor, and Ariel Castro hanged himself in his cell.
Now, similar allegations of captivity, rape, and abuse are playing out closer to home. A Grady County man under investigation for other crimes has now been accused of holding two teenage girls and a woman captive in his parents' home at various times between 2011 and 2013.
Gregory Todd Zavala, 23, met his first accuser about 4 years ago, in the spring of 2011. The woman, now 20, says she was 16 years old when Zavala locked her in his bedroom in his parents' room and repeatedly raped and beat her. Reports do not indicate how long she allegedly remained captive, but after she became pregnant, she says, she was able to escape.
A second woman says that she was 17 when Zavala allegedly abducted her in January 2012. She said she was repeatedly raped and savagely beaten until she escaped seven months later. She was also pregnant at the time of her escape.
The third woman says she was Zavala's girlfriend prior to being held in captivity. Because she was homeless, she said, she moved in with the man. Shortly after, he allegedly had her car towed. She says he raped her almost daily and once beat her with a hammer so hard she suffered a permanent deformity to her skull.
Reports say another 16-year-old girl who was last seen with the suspect remains missing.
After interviewing witnesses and allegedly discovering sexually explicit images of a minor on his phone, Grady County Sheriff's deputies arrested Zavala. He was booked into the Grady County jail, where he is currently held on $2 million bond.
The defendant is charged with 8 criminal counts in connection with the alleged kidnappings and rapes:
- 3 counts of kidnapping
- 2 counts of child sexual abuse
- 2 counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
- 1 count of first degree rape
He is also charged with possession of child pornography in Grady County, DUI and reckless driving in Oklahoma County, and harboring a runaway and obstructing an officer in Lincoln County.
The alleged acts are said to have occurred at the suspect's parents' home, and investigators say they do not yet know if the man's parents can expect to be charged, pending the results of the investigation.
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