TUTTLE, Okla. – Two of the women who claim an Oklahoma man held them captive while he raped and assaulted them for months are talking about how they escaped.
Court records reveal the suspect is accused of holding three women at a home in Tuttle against their will. Each of those cases happened separately over a period of several years.
Zavala allegedly threatened to kill each victim and their families if they ever left his house, according to an affidavit from the Grady County District Attorney’s office.
Two of the alleged victims detailed their escapes during a court hearing on Monday, according to the Express-Star.
The girls, who were minors at the time Zavala allegedly kidnapped and assaulted them, both say Zavala repeatedly threatened to kill them if they ever left the house without permission.
One of the women told the court that she planned her escape for weeks. She says she was allowed out of the house for work, and during that time, she befriended a coworker who became concerned with the woman’s home life.
“He noticed the bruises on me and how I was acting weird,” the woman told the court. “I told him what was going on and he said that if I escaped, he would take me in. I saved up pennies and dimes that I took from [Zavala’s] pockets when I did his laundry, and I used that to get a pre-paid phone that I kept hidden from him.”
The woman said she was kept at Zavala’s home for a year. She says she was finally able to escape in December 2013.
She told court officials that she was afraid to file a protection order against Zavala.
“He always told me about the first girl who filed one against him,” she said. “He said that he got in his truck with another person and his gun, and he went and shot her house.”
The woman says she is still afraid of Zavala and has even had to quit two jobs because of him.
“I want to stop always looking in my rear-view mirror,” the woman said. “I fear every day. He has stalked me and caused me to leave two jobs.”
Another victim told the court she was able to escape after she was able to find a cell phone.
“He (Zavala) finally decided to get a job, and he went to an orientation meeting,” she said. “His mother left her phone at the house. I called my brother and he came to get me.”
She told police Zavala would strangle her with a belt or his hand. She also says he told her the only way she was leaving his house was “in a body bag.”
The woman says she was held captive for about 8 months.
According to court documents, the victim says she was raped numerous times and also became pregnant during her captivity.
She said she was able to escape before she gave birth.
An attorney asked the victim why she didn’t just leave the home whenever she wanted.
“Everyone was there, his mom and his sister,” she responded. “They would have told him.”
One day, the woman says she was able to escape, but Zavala found her.
“I did escape in either June or July. I honestly don’t know how he found me,” she said. “But he showed up and said that I should go back with him.”
The two alleged victims say their fear of Zavala is why it took them so long to report the abuse to authorities.
Zavala is being held in the Grady County Jail on a $2 million bond.