A Spokane man was raped, tortured and degraded for weeks by his longtime girlfriend and her sister, police said.
During the last month, the women raped the man with a broomstick, severely beat him and pressed a red-hot metal spatula to his buttocks and chest, detectives said in affidavits filed Wednesday in Spokane County District Court.
The women also forced him to sleep on the kitchen floor and stand outside in his underwear on freezing nights, according to the detectives.
Investigators said the women “inflicted substantial bodily harm … which by design caused such pain and agony as to be the equivalent of that produced by torture.”
Police aren’t sure what provoked the abuse, or why the man kept going back.
“It appears to be a case of domestic violence,” police spokesman Dick Cottam said. “The reasons for that are many and varied.”
Men rarely report being abused by their wives or girlfriends. Experts say only about 5 percent of the reported cases of domestic violence each year involve women abusing men.
The actual number of men snared in violent relationships may be much higher, but many are embarrassed to report the abuse, according to domestic violence counselors.
The victim’s girlfriend, 49-year-old Eunice Eickhoff, and her sister, 36-year-old Theresa Marie Bowe-Spickler, have been arrested. Both are charged with second-degree assault and second-degree rape.
Bowe-Spickler’s husband, William H. Bowe Jr., 39, also has been arrested. He is charged with second-degree assault for not reporting the attacks, which took place in a house the couples share at 1619 E. DeSmet.
Eickhoff has admitted her role in the abuse, including taking part in raping and burning the victim, detectives said.
She and her boyfriend had a tumultuous, 12-year relationship, she told police. Arguments would often deteriorate into hitting and punching, she said.
But she labeled her sister as the chief aggressor in the most severe abuse. Eickhoff told investigators she is afraid of Bowe-Spickler, who would often become angry with both her and the victim.
Bowe-Spickler would not allow them to eat unless she said it was OK, Eickhoff said, and would punish the victim for stealing food by forcing him to gorge himself until he vomited.
The abuse came to light after the dazed victim wandered Saturday night into the First Step Services club on East First, detectives said.
Volunteers at the haven for recovering drug addicts, alcoholics and homeless people called police after the man fell asleep on a couch and wouldn’t wake up.
Officers found the 42-year-old victim covered with bruises, burns, cuts and abrasions.
The victim told officers that Eickhoff and Bowe-Spickler inflicted the wounds. The man was treated at Deaconess Medical Center and released.
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