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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Six held for abuse of black woman
Bobby Brewster (left) and his mother Frankie are among the six accused
The accused include Bobby Brewster (left) and his mother Frankie
West Virginia prosecutors are to bring state kidnap charges against six white people accused of abusing and torturing a black woman for a week.

The prosecutors opted not to pursue race hate charges with a penalty of 10 years, going instead for kidnapping which carries a maximum life term.

The six allegedly beat, stabbed and sexually assaulted the woman, while using a racial slur.

Prosecutors say the woman had been in a relationship with one of the six.

Megan Williams, 20, and her mother, Carmen, agreed to release her name to the media, saying they wanted people to know what she had endured.

Mrs Williams said she was "horrified" by her daughter's injuries.

"I don't understand a human being doing another human being the way they did my daughter. I didn't know there were people like that out there," she said.


Ms Williams was discovered on Saturday when an anonymous tip-off led police to a remote hillside house in Big Creek, Logan County. She staggered towards them crying "Help me", officers said.

Among the allegations against the six people accused of holding Ms Williams are that they forced her to eat rat droppings and drink from a toilet.

They are accused of pouring hot water over her, choking her with a cable and cutting her ankle with a knife, while verbally abusing her.

Prosecutor Brian Abraham said Ms Williams was not a random target and had a previous relationship with Bobby Brewster, 24, one of the accused.

He was charged in July with domestic battery and assault after a dispute between them.

The six accused face charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and giving false information to police.

They are Mr Brewster, his mother Frankie, 49, 20-year-old Danny Combs, Karen Burton, 46, her daughter Alisha, 23, and George Messer, 27.

Reaction from the victim's parents

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