OROVILLE -- The woman found sealed behind drywall in the attic of an Oroville house is now saying she was never held against her will.
The woman, who has not been identified, told a newspaper reporter Thursday the story had been blown out of proportion. She said some of the charges were not true: false imprisonment, torture, criminal threats and witness intimidation. However, she also said the spousal rape and abuse charges are true.
The woman's mother disputes her claim.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the chief investigator for the Sheriff's Office interviewed the woman Thursday, and her testimony is consistent with that of a battered woman.
On Monday, Butte County sheriff's deputies got a tip from a parole officer that Lawson Rankin, 29, might be holding his wife against her will at his home.
When they arrived at the house, Rankin denied seeing the woman, according to a police press release.
But Rankin was covered in drywall mud, the deputies said, and a wall in the kitchen had been recently gone over with drywall mud and was still very wet. They broke through the wet wall and found the woman, who they said had apparently been sealed in an attic.
The woman told deputies she had been held captive for almost two weeks, and alleged she had been raped and beaten daily, according to the release.
Now the victim is recanting some of the allegations.
Rankin has been charged with spousal
Ramsey said by telephone Thursday night the district attorney's office will revisit the charges and determine which ones will stick.
During an interview Monday, the woman gave some conflicting statements in her story.
She reportedly said her husband hit her a few times, and choked her until she went unconscious, but she wasn't beaten every day.
She contends Rankin would not have killed her, and she could have left the house at any time.
The victim said it was her idea to make a bedroom in the attic because she had a restraining order against him, and she didn't want them to be seen together.
According to her recent statements, Rankin also padded the walls with foam to keep the room warm and to keep outside noises from disturbing them.
He brought her food and whatever she asked for. However, she said she was too depressed to eat because they had been fighting so much.
She said Rankin had put up the sheetrock and drywall around the entrance to the attic room, so the entrance was not visible from inside the house.