VALPARAISO | A Kansas man is behind bars after police said he tied an adult female relative to a chair and held her against her will in a Portage motel room.
Martin Jonassen, 55, of Elwood, Kan., was formally charged Tuesday with two counts of Class C felony confinement and one misdemeanor count of battery after the 21-year-old relative ran into a U.S. 20 liquor store, naked and begged for help.
About 9:45 a.m. Monday, officers were called to the area of U.S. 20 and Ind. 249 after a naked woman was seen being chased by a car, "running for her life," and heading inside a liquor store, Portage police and Porter County prosecutors said in documents filed in Porter Superior Court.
A Portage police officer in the area was able to quickly respond and reportedly blocked Jonassen's car between the Liquor Center building and her cruiser, right as he was beginning to back out.
The officer approached the car with her gun drawn, police said, and ordered Jonassen out. She then saw he was holding down the woman, who was huddled face up on the passenger's side floor, completely naked and with rope around her right ankle.
The officer said the woman had bruising on her body, both old and fresh, and was terrified.
The woman told police Jonassen was angry about a relationship she had been having with an older man and forced her to leave her Missouri home Saturday, taking her Sunday night to the Dollar Inn on U.S. 20 in Portage.
The woman said Jonassen had been having sex with her for years, though she provided little details as to what may have transpired in the motel room.
"I just want him to stop doing to me the things he has been doing for years," she reportedly told officers.
The woman said Jonassen had her nude and tied to a chair in the room. She was able to loosen the ropes and flee when he went to the bathroom.
"I got loose and saw my chance to escape. I got out of the room and started running ... that's when he started chasing me," she told police. "I saw my chance to escape, so I did."
The woman reportedly ran to the nearby liquor store and pleaded for help, holding on to a set of cooler doors with a firm grip. A clerk inside the store said just seconds after the woman came in, Jonassen followed, pulled the woman out of the store and into his car. The clerk said just as Jonassen started to back up, police arrived and came to the woman's aid.
Jonassen is being held at Porter County Jail without bond, pending an initial hearing.