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Galax man faces assault, kidnapping charges in Ohio

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Matthew Rupe held in Ohio jail awaiting September trial for holding wife against her will.

By AMBER GILLENWATER
Copyright 2013, Gallipolis (Ohio) Daily Tribune
Reprinted with permission

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio. — A Galax, Va., man accused of assaulting and holding his wife against her will was arraigned in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County, Ohio, earlier this month.
Matthew L. Rupe, 33, of Sherwood Road in Galax, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony domestic violence and kidnapping during a hearing on July 12 in the common pleas courtroom.
Rupe was arrested during the early morning hours of June 25 by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to the police report filed in this case, on June 19, Rupe’s wife, who reportedly resides in Patriot, Ohio, reported to the sheriff’s office that two days prior, she and her husband were traveling in their vehicle along with her two children, ages seven and six years.
The victim stated that her husband suddenly pulled off of the roadway and began to assault her — punching her in the face, pulling her hair, hitting her head against the steering wheel and physically restraining her. The suspect also allegedly told her that he was going to kill her with a knife.
After talking him out of harming her and her children, the victim reported to deputies that Rupe then drove the victim to his sister’s house in Virginia against her will.
Reportedly, after the victim’s mother, who was unable to locate her daughter, contacted local authorities in Virginia, the victim was able to leave the residence with the help of police in Virginia. The victim was then able to receive a ride back to Gallia County.
At the time of the report taken, the victim reportedly still had visible bruises and marks from the assault.
Rupe, who also found his way back to Gallia County after the initial incident, was located inside a private residence on June 25 by deputies and was arrested on a warrant.
The defendant later made an initial appearance in the Gallipolis Municipal Court, and, following a preliminary hearing, this case was bound over to the common pleas court where it was later heard by a grand jury.
The indictment in this case specifies that Rupe, having previously been convicted of a domestic violence offense, knowingly caused or attempted to cause physical harm to a family or household member, a fourth-degree felony; and knowingly restrained the victim of her liberty, a first-degree felony; both on June 17.
The defendant is being held in the Gallia County Jail. Rupe’s bond was set at $100,000.
A plea agreement in this case may be filed by Sept. 6. A jury trial has been scheduled for Sept. 23.