TOMBALL, TX- The revolving door in the Harris County, Texas criminal justice system continues, with a 21-year-old man who kidnapped and assaulted a woman he met online for five days has been released on only a $50,000 bond.
On Dec. 29, sheriff’s deputies with Harris County Precinct 4 were dispatched to an apartment complex for the report of a woman who had been “severely” assaulted by a man,’ ABC-13 in Houston reported.
According to the sheriff’s office, the victim met the 21-year-old suspect, Zachary Mills, on Bumble, an online dating platform.
An investigation revealed the victim, who was not identified, had arrived at the apartment five days earlier, and had been held against her will and sexually assaulted multiple times before she was finally able to seek help from a neighbor, Fox News reported.
The victim told investigators she was denied food and water and had suffered “serious bodily injury” resulting from the repeated assaults. She was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries. There was no update if she was treated and released or admitted to the hospital.
She suffered “severe bruising to both eyes, bite marks and cuts to both her throat and nose, and severe bruising to majority of her body,” the complaint said.
“Zachary Mills was arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail, charged with first-degree aggravated kidnapping,” Constable Mark Herman said. “His bond was set at $50,000 out of the 351st District Court. Additional charges may be filed at a later time following further investigation.”
The victim identified Mills to investigators based on his driver’s license photo, which led investigators to arrest him.
The incident began when the victim showed up and Mills made sexual advances toward her, which were spurned. Enraged, Mills began punching and biting the victim in the face when she declined his advances, KPRC-TV reported.
KHOU-TV, in describing the assault, said Mills would hit the victim with a closed fist, then bite her about the neck and face. When his hands got tired of striking her, he would grab the screwdriver and strike her with the handle.
Court documents allege that Mills grabbed her clothes and attempted to stop her whenever she attempted to flee out the door. It was only when he left to visit his father’s home that she was able to leave the apartment.
She gathered up her clothes, ran out the door and “contacted the first people who she came in contact with and advised them what had occurred,” the complaint read.
Sheriffs deputies executed a search warrant on the apartment the next day and arrested Mills.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear bout this horrible crime,” Bumble said in a statement. “We blocked this member as soon as we were made aware of this situation and in accordance with our Community Guidelines. We also have a dedicated law enforcement team available to respond to any requests from law enforcement as needed.”
According to Mills’ attorney, Chris Denuna, the allegations, while serious do not appear to be credible based on what he had seen thus far, according to KHOU-TV.
“Right now, Mr. Mills is presumed innocent. Until then, we will review discovery, strategize, and prepare a defense,” Denuna said.
Court records show Mills was released from jail on that $50,000 bond with several restrictions. According to bond conditions, he is currently on 24-hour house arrest and may only leave his residence to go to court, get groceries, and meet with his attorney. He is also banned from being within 200 feet of where the victim works or lives.
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