Edmonton woman kidnapped, locked in closet for seven days

At 2:30 in the morning in July 2016, a 50-year old Edmonton sex trade worker was ready to head home.

But then a man in a silver car stopped to proposition the woman who can only be identified by her initials CM, due to a court-ordered publication ban. Along 118th Avenue, they made a deal to have sex for 60 dollars.

CM got in his car, not knowing she was in for the worst seven days of her life.

Ryan Raymond Dechambre, 30, is now on trial for robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault with threats to cause bodily harm, extortion, two counts of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and unlawful confinement.

On Wednesday afternoon, CM testified she and Dechambre went to Rundle Park two years ago to have sex.

She said he drove to the very end of the road. The pair walked across a bridge and along a path to get to a picnic table he said he was looking for.

CM asked for some of the money up front, but he refused.

"I said 'I'm not getting paid am I?'" CM testified. "Well let's do this and get it over with."

After they had sex, CM said Dechambre became aggressive and began to threaten her.

"He slapped me a couple of times and made me take my glasses off," she said. "Then he insisted on having sex again."

CM said her attacker put her own jacket over her head, then led her back to his car. She said he forced her to lay down on the passenger seat with her head still covered.

"I thought about trying to get out of the car, but I had no idea where we were," CM testified.

"There was no one around, it was the middle of the night … I was scared."

Locked in a closet

CM was taken to a house and said she was ordered to remove her clothes as soon as she got inside. She was forced to spend the next five days naked. She said he made her take a shower, then have sex again.

She said it was not consensual.

When daylight arrived, CM said he locked her in a closet so small there wasn't enough room to lie down. The day passed by in a blur because he gave her Nyquil and what he said were sleeping pills.  She was not given any food.

CM said she was let out of the closet when it got dark, so he could have sex with her again.

She said for the next few nights, she was forced to perform a head to toe massage on her captor, noting that if she stopped too soon, he slapped her.

On day two, CM said her captor had to go to work and wanted to make sure she would stay locked up. She testified he put duct tape over her mouth, but removed it fairly quickly because she couldn't breathe.

"He said he didn't want to kill me," CM testified. "He just wanted me to be quiet."

For 30 minutes, she had her arms tied over her head to a clothing rod. Then he untied her, gave her a bottle of water, a fan and a blanket along with more Nyquil.

"He said he didn't want me to die in there."

Over the next several days, CM said she was whipped "a couple of times" with an extension cord, hit with a hanger and threatened with knives.

"I asked him why he was doing that and he said it made him feel better," CM testified.

CM was moved to a slightly bigger closet that had enough room for her to lie down. She was also given a pillow. But she was still naked.

'I just wanted to get away from him'

On her fifth day in captivity, CM said the sex stopped, but new demands were made. CM was forced to do the laundry and to clean her kidnapper's house while naked.

"I had to wash the walls and clean the bathroom, vacuum," she said. "He told me I had to."

She thought about trying to escape, but testified, "I was afraid if I tried to run and he caught me, God knows what would happen."  

Seven days of captivity ended the day CM's welfare cheque arrived. She testified Dechambre let her get dressed and he drove her to a bank in St. Albert. Surveillance video played at the trial shows he stayed by her side as she withdrew $1100 from her bank account.

"I did ask him why he picked me to do what he did and he said he needed money to pay bills," CM told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil.

She said Dechambre agreed to let her go if she drained her bank account for him, then agreed to keep paying him.

"He said...he'd pick me up every night and take my money and put me in the closet until I made ten thousand dollars," CM said. "I pretty much agreed to whatever he said. I just wanted to get away from him."

On day seven, CM got dropped off along 118th Avenue, after Dechambre allegedly took all her identification cards.

As soon as he left, CM said she walked to a friend's house.

At first, she was reluctant to call police, afraid they wouldn't believe what she had been through. Her friend convinced her to call police. Early in the investigation, CM picked Dechambre out of a photo lineup. She wrote on the photo card, "This is the person who held me captive for a week, assaulted me and robbed me."

CM said the ordeal has affected her life for the past two years.

"It's been hard. I worry about it all the time," she testified.

"I worry about what's going to happen after he gets out. I don't like being around people too much anymore. I don't go out by myself very often."

CM will be cross-examined on Thursday.

Dechambre is in custody.