A West Virginia man has been arrested for torturing his wife, making her a slave and holding her hostage in chains for nearly a decade, authorities said.
Jackson County officials have charged Peter Lizon of Leroy with malicious wounding after his wife showed up at a nearby shelter with scars on her wrists and ankles caused by her limbs being chained up with metal padlocks, local media reported.
Lizon, 37, had also allegedly smashed her feet with farming equipment. He called his wife a “slave” and made her kneel before him whenever he entered the room.
“This is a case that is tenfold of what our average domestic (violence) is and maybe more than that,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Boggs told NBC television affiliate WSAZ. “It comes down to what appears to be slavery and torture.”
Lizon’s wife Stephanie, 43, suffered a wide range of injuries all over her body, from being severely burned on her breasts and back with hot irons and frying pans to broken fingers and bruises, according to a criminal complaint filed by a woman who met her at the shelter and cited by local media.
The woman also claimed that Lizon hit his wife in the stomach while she was pregnant, causing her to have a miscarriage and bury the fully developed infant on the farm property. She also allegedly was made to give birth to another baby while chained, and neither have received medical attention since.
“It’s amazing what one human being can do to another,” Boggs said. “And that should not ever happen or be allowed to happen. And hopefully this will stop and curtail that, at least in this instance.”
But Lizon’s attorney Shawn Bayliss denied the claims, telling WSAZ that the miscarriage was caused by an accident with an all terrain vehicle. He said the woman who filed the criminal complaint had a “feeble mind,” noting that Lizon’s wife was standing by her husband despite the alleged abuse.
On July 2, Lizon drove his wife and their one-year-old child off the property for an errand, during which Stephanie walked away from the truck and hid at a local dance facility before catching a ride to a local shelter, according to the complaint. She left the child behind.
Lizon is being held in jail on $300,000 bond.