Charges have been dropped against Joel Arnold who is accused of locking a 17-year-old girl in a cypress storage unit and repeatedly raping her

Cyprus, Texas (KTRK) – Update: Charges have been dropped against a 34-year-old man accused of locking a 17-year-old girl inside a storage unit for several days in “unlivable” conditions. The girl, who authorities say was repeatedly raped while in captivity, has demanded that the charges be dropped, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Joel Micah Arnold was facing three criminal charges, including aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault and child trafficking.

“When prosecutors confronted the witness with recently disclosed evidence that did not match her previous statements, she requested that the case not be appealed; she will not testify,” said Dean Schiller, a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

The video shown above is from a previous report.

Transcript from the original report continues below

The 1 Harris County Sheriff’s Office originally stated that the teen had been in the storage unit in the cypress area for five days. Investigators said he would leave and return at various points over a five-day period late last month.

Authorities said Arnold offered the girl a firearm, injected drugs and sexually assaulted her.

Alan Rosen, Harris County’s first policeman, said Arnold lived near the victim and knew her.

During her appearance in court in April, prosecutors alleged that Arnold threatened to harm the victim’s 14-year-old sister on March 27 if she did not go with him. They ended up in the storage facility at block 19100 of FM 529, where they were held for five days.

Prosecutors said that during that time in captivity, the girl was raped more than once, and at one point, Arnold tried to force her into oral sex after finding out she had been given a cell phone that was in the unit.

According to prosecutors, Arnold also kept a firearm in the unit, which resulted in the girl identifying the bullets, concealing them, and then holding on to them. Court records revealed that those bullets were used as evidence.

It wasn’t until April 1 when Arnold told the girl to leave the unit. Prosecutors said he instructed her to walk along the fence until she reached a nearby store where she reported to law enforcement.

The victim chose Arnold in the list of photos, and he was arrested on April 13.

Given the victim’s allegations, investigators went to the storage unit where they found syringes and condoms filled with urine. Prosecutors described the unit as “uninhabitable” with no windows or running water. The girl told them she had to use a bucket to use the restroom.

The judge kept Arnold’s surety amount at $300,000 after his attorney requested that it be reduced.

The judge also set bail conditions, which prevented him from holding onto any weapon; subject him to a random drug and alcohol test; orders him to be placed under house arrest if he submits bail; And prevent him from contacting the victim or anyone he knows.

Arnold has no prior convictions in Texas.

On Thursday, Rosen told ABC13 authorities found numerous checks, driver’s licenses and credit cards of others when they detained Arnold, suggesting there may be other victims.

Eyewitness News learned Friday that Rosen’s Precinct 1 has received calls from other potential victims, suggesting that Arnold may have assaulted them. The police office said investigations were underway in every call.

We urge anyone with information about Arnold or other victims to call the District One Human Trafficking Hotline at 832-927-1650.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.


Write a Comment