A Surfside Beach man and Florence woman are facing kidnapping and assault charges after using sexy text messages to lure a young man to their rented apartment, according to the Surfside Beach Police Department.
Timothy Wilder, 30, is charged with kidnapping, assault and battery, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Wendy Cox, 51, is charged with kidnapping, accessory before the fact for kidnapping and assault and battery.
The 17-year-old Murrells Inlet resident thought that he was texting a 16-year-old girl he had met earlier that day in Garden City, but the couple, with whom the girl was staying in Surfside Beach, had taken her phone, according to police.
When the teen got to the home on 15th Avenue South he was assaulted, held at knife point and forced to take off his clothes, according to the statement by Surfside Beach police.
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Police said that the victim was choked so hard that “the capillaries in his eyes were also busted out,” the report shows.
The teen eventually escaped and called the police. When police arrived they arrested Wilder and Cox.
Cox told officers that the teen thought he was going to have sex with the girl but that she and Wilder “taught him a lesson,” the report shows. The relationship between the girl and the two suspects was not clear in the report.
Later investigators searched the apartment and found blood spatter evidence and a knife. Police also received a search warrant to look at text messages that had been sent to the victim.
The incident started when the victim and the girl were sexting, sending erotic images or messages through a cell phone. At some point it seemed Wilder and Cox took the phone and continued texting the young man, according to police.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick said that neither the 16-year-old girl nor the victim violated any law during their communication. He said the messaging was consensual and voluntary and no pornography or illegal material was transmitted.
Police said Wilder was pretending to be the girl and sent a message to the victim telling him that she was “buck naked,” the report shows. The victim came into the suspects’ house and went upstairs. Wilder then approached the victim, wrestled him to the ground and began choking him, the victim told officers.
Wilder pulled out a knife and told the victim he was going to cut his genitals off, the report shows.
The victim escaped and called police.
Cox and Wilder were released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Monday night after posting $40,000 bond apiece.