SACRAMENTO — Neighbors say they observed the woman freely come and go from her Lodi, Calif., home — sometimes alone, other times hand-in-hand with her 60-year-old husband, but never appearing in distress.
But Lodi police allege her freedom was a facade: that Michael Patrick O'Riley ruled his wife – a 44-year-old woman he met on the Internet and married in China – through fear, force and threat of death.
She had no access to cash, and no car – O'Riley hid it from her, said Lodi Police Cpl. Dale Eubanks. O'Riley gave food to his wife only when she behaved herself – and only enough, it seems, to sustain her, Eubanks said.
Authorities say that after enduring a year and 10 months of intimidation and sexual abuse, the woman reached her breaking point Thursday. She called 911, and police arrived to find O'Riley piling his nine guns into his car, according to police.
As officers pulled up to the home – a converted storefront in a strip mall on busy West Lodi Avenue – the woman ran to one of the patrol cars and dove through an open window, crying for help, Eubanks said.
Police have not identified her.
They arrested O'Riley, a social worker at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Facility in southern Sacramento County, and booked him into the Lodi jail on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sex crimes, terrorist threats, spousal battery and failure to provide for a spouse, Eubanks said.
Police seized his nine guns – a mix of handguns and rifles. They also confiscated $23,000 in cash.
On Friday, O'Riley was arraigned in San Joaquin Superior Court on charges of making terrorist threats and several counts of sexual abuse. His bail was set at $950,000. He was transferred Friday to the San Joaquin County jail. Efforts by The Bee to reach O'Riley or his relatives were unsuccessful.
Deputy District Attorney Maria Ghobadi, who is prosecuting the case, declined to discuss the allegations in detail, saying the case is in its early stages and the charges against O'Riley could change.
"We're taking it very slow with the investigation," she said. "As more information comes out, we will add more charges if necessary."
Police maintained their allegations Friday that the woman had been held captive by an abusive husband, hesitant to seek help for fear she would be deported to China or killed by her husband.
O'Riley went so far as to describe how he would kill her, Eubanks said. He declined to elaborate.
The woman has no family in the United States, Eubanks said, and doesn't appear to have close friends.
Read the full story at sacbee.com.