A 33-year-old woman allegedly traveled from South Carolina to Maine against her will, as her accused kidnapper repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted her along the way.
She tried to ask for help along the way and asked her alleged kidnapper to let her go, but she could not escape before the harrowing journey ended in Lewiston. That’s where police arrested 25-year-old Dustin Beach of Green Pond, South Carolina, who was out on bail for another charge and had allegedly cut off his ankle bracelet. He was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland with kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The victim’s version of the kidnapping is laid out in a 10-page court affidavit that includes medical records verifying bruises on her face, neck, arms and legs.
She is identified only by initials in the affidavit. It is the practice of the BDN not to identify victims of sexual assaults.
Lewiston police went to the Super 8 Motel on Lisbon Street at about 2:30 a.m. July 25, responding to a report of a woman who had been hit with a hammer. She asked officers to take her away from the motel before Beach returned, which they did.
The alleged victim told police that sometime in July, Beach had offered her a ride to a store in South Carolina to buy laundry detergent. He was supposed to drop her off at a laundromat but instead drove north out of state and broke her phone so she could not use it, the affidavit said.
On July 18 or 19, she thought she might be rescued by a North Carolina state police trooper.
Beach allegedly got into an altercation with another driver, pulled off onto a shoulder on Interstate 95 and got his truck stuck in the mud.
A state trooper stopped to investigate and Beach got out of the truck, she told police in Maine. The North Carolina trooper told investigators in Maine that Beach said he was waiting for a tow truck. The trooper did not see anyone else in the truck, according to the affidavit.
The victim repeatedly asked Beach to let her go, but he refused, the affidavit said. Not only did Beach allegedly use a cane, hammer, his fists, feet and elbows to injure her, he also held her face underwater near a salvage yard until she passed out, the victim told police.
Beach threatened to kill her children before he killed her, she told police in Maine. In Maryland, while Beach was sleeping in the truck, the victim allegedly sought help from several people but was unsuccessful.
Once Beach arrived in Maine, he visited a woman named Donna, according to the affidavit, who allegedly rented the motel room for him.
Lewiston officers took Beach into custody after interviewing the victim, the affidavit said. He allegedly told police she willingly came to Maine because he was trying to help her.
Beach told police that the two arrived in Maine on July 21 after two or three days on the road. He allegedly denied beating or raping the victim but said he had sex with her several times in his truck on the trip and in Maine.
The investigation found that Beach faces kidnapping and other charges in South Carolina. Those charges stemmed from a report that over two days in February, Beach assaulted a girlfriend with a bullwhip, a stick, a shotgun and a pistol, and took her cell phone so she could not call for help.
Beach was released on bail on June 10 and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet, the affidavit said. Seventeen days later, he allegedly cut it off. A warrant was issued for his arrest out of South Carolina on July 19, two days before he allegedly arrived in Maine.
His first appearance on the federal kidnapping charge in Maine has not been set.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.