Jasmine Block, 15, Swims Across Lake to Escape Three Men Who Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Her for 29 Days
Jasmine Block is being called an incredible young woman for the heroic actions that the 15-year-old took to save her own life. Photos of Block’s alleged captors – Thomas Barker, Joshua Holby, and Steven Powers – have been provided by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, according to Newser. Jasmine reportedly went with Barker on August 8, after the 32-year-old Barker told Block that he needed her help. Since Thomas was a family friend, Block apparently felt comfortable enough to leave her house in Alexandria, Minnesota, to help the man. However, instead of finding a situation where Thomas needed help, Jasmine allegedly discovered a “nightmare” at Barker’s home in Carlos, a city in Douglas County, Minnesota.
Thomas brought his roommate and a friend to the home to use zip ties to restrain Jasmine, according to Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels. In the 28 days following August 8, Barker and the two other men remained with Jasmine, who was reportedly physically and sexually assaulted. Eventually, the trio moved Block to the cornfields and a house in Grant County, on a lake. Ultimately, that lake would help Jasmine survive on day No. 29, when the men left on Tuesday to grab lunch. That break in time gave Jasmine the chance to run to different homes seeking help. Jasmine was forced to swim across a 150-acre lake to another home, where she found a homeowner who had returned home because he forgot something.
Jasmine, according to CBS, was being held at a foreclosed property that was located in a rural portion of Grant County. The man who Block found and helped her asked that his identity remains hidden. At first, the man thought Jasmine was a deer, but when he realized Block was the missing teen in the news, he told Jasmine to jump in his truck and promised her he would get her help. Jasmine had removed her pants and shoes to help her swim better across the lake and survive.
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Although Jasmine wanted her rescuer to drive her away from the property, authorities asked that they remain nearby. When deputies arrived, Block was able to spot her captor and point one of them out to police. Authorities gave chase and ultimately caught all three men. The 31-year-old Holby and 20-year-old Powers are being held on false imprisonment, kidnapping, and assault charges. Thomas was also charged with the same crimes.
[Featured Image by Ann Heisenfelt/AP Images]