AWENDAW, S.C. (WCBD) – A 30-year-old man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct after holding a woman against her will for several days.
Authorities responded to East Cooper Medical Center where the victim was receiving treatment after escaping from the suspect’s home in Awendaw.
She told Mount Pleasant Police Officers and Charleston County deputies that she met the suspect, Christopher Austin Harris, through an online dating website known as ‘Plenty of Fish’.
The victim said the two met several times in person and stated the suspect seemed normal.
On April 16th, Harris invited the victim to stay at his home in Awendaw, and the victim said she was picked up by a third party whom she did not know.
According to an incident report from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the victim said she was taken to a home which she referred to as a “trap house” somewhere off US Highway 17 north of the Sewee Outpost. There, she said a window was blacked-out, several others were broken and there was debris in the yard and multiple dogs.
Harris was inside the residence with five other individuals that the victim did not know.
She told deputies that she was kept inside Harris’ bedroom, where he would severely beat her and force her to engage in sexual acts over the next several days, according to the report.
At one point, the report states Harris was allowed out of the room after being locked up for several days, but became enraged and accused the victim of flirting with other people inside the home and began to beat her and even jumped off a table onto her head.
The report says Harris also walked around the room with a machete saying “You’re gonna die tonight.”
Harris eventually put the machete down and the victim picked it up and swung it at him, possibly making contact with his leg. She told deputies she was able to eventually make her escape out of a broken window and another occupant inside the house drove her to the hospital.
Victim suffered multiple facial fractures, including injuries to her nose and eye sockets.
Harris was later arrested and transported to the Al Cannon Detention Center.