GATEWAY, Colo. – A former Texas death row inmate has been arrested, and accused of kidnapping and repeatedly sexually assaulting a homeless woman — reportedly for months – in Mesa County.
Claude Lee Wilkerson, 61, faces 10 felony and misdemeanor counts. The Grand Junction Sentinel reports Wilkerson is accused of keeping the woman tied up inside his house in Gateway, which is about 50 miles southwest of Grand Junction near the Utah border.
Wilkerson is accused of sometimes allegedly keeping the 26-year-old woman chained up with the help of a runaway 14-year-old who lived in the home.
An arrest affidavit said authorities were led to Wilkerson by the runaway teenager and the alleged victim told deputies to arrest her on a minor warrant when they arrived.
The affidavit said the woman didn’t know which month it was or how long she had been held captive.
Wilkerson was charged Monday with kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, assault and harboring a minor. He is being held in the Mesa County Jail on $1 million bond.
Wilkerson spent four years on death row before being freed from a Texas state prison in 1983 after his confession was thrown out by a judge because he didn’t waive his rights.
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