Sexual assault suspect's family says abuse case doesn't add up - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Sexual assault suspect's family says abuse case is an extreme exaggeration


The family of the man accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend and locking her in the bedroom of his home is speaking out.

They say the story the woman is telling just doesn't add up.

Paul Rawl Jr. is accused of holding a woman against her will for three months. During that time, the woman told sheriff's investigators she was beat up, sexually assaulted and fed Xanax.

She also told investigators Rawl threatened to kill her.

Rawl's mother, father and brother say they do not condone the actions he is accused of but say the story the woman told sheriff's investigators can't be completely true because the woman was at Rawl's parent's house just two weeks ago.

"They seemed happy, they were loading up the cedar tree we cut down and I asked them to come in and I gave them something from out of the freezer," Linda Rawl said.  "We've been out to eat at Lizard's Thicket, all this has been within the last three months."

That's why Linda said the story that her son locked his ex-girlfriend inside his home for months cannot be true

"She's definitely not been held captive," Linda said.  

The Family spoke to WIS in front of the home where the victim told police she was locked in a bedroom and sexually assaulted more than six times a day.

The family took us in the home but did not allow cameras. They wanted to prove the woman could have left whenever she wanted.

"There was not a squatter cellar dweller," Pawl Rawl, Sr. said. "You've seen the building's yourself."

The family says they believe the Lexington County Sheriff's Department arrested their son because of his past sexual conduct convictions.

He was accused of sexual misconduct involving a 12-year-old girl.

Rawl's family claims this case is an extreme case of exaggeration and say sheriff's investigators overlooked facts before making the arrest.

"She has come and gone, come and gone several times," Linda said.

WIS asked if their son's arrest was a shock: "Yes, it was a shock," Linda said.

"Very much so," Paul added.

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