October 25, 2018 9:30 am
Updated: October 25, 2018 9:35 am

More charges against U.S. man accused of kidnapping Alberta model

WATCH: Fri, May 26: It’s a harrowing cross border crime that ended in a daring escape by an Alberta woman held hostage. What started out as an online scheme resulted in the young woman reportedly being trapped in a stranger’s home for days. Jill Croteau reports.

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A South Carolina man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an Alberta woman who was lured to the United States with the promise of a modelling job is facing new charges.

Fred Russell Urey remains in custody after his arrest in May 2017. He was initially charged with kidnapping and one count of criminal sexual conduct.

That changed this week.

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“The prosecution took it to the grand jury and increased the charges,” said Marcia Barker, a spokeswoman for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit court in Greenville, S.C.

READ MORE: US man charged in Alberta model’s alleged kidnapping to face trial by year’s end

Urey is now facing five counts of criminal sexual conduct _ one charge for every day the woman was held captive.

Police have said the woman, described only as being between 18 and 25, flew to Atlanta for what she believed was a modelling job and had been talking with the accused for a couple of months.

Investigators said he agreed to pay her $15,000 for her work which would not involve “nudity or acts of sexual behaviour.”

Police allege she was held captive and sexually assaulted after he threatened to hurt her and her family in Canada. They said the ordeal lasted five days, but she was allowed to contact her family via FaceTime while her captor watched. Somehow she was able to signal her location and give clues that she was in danger.

Her family contacted the RCMP who notified local authorities. They managed to track the couple by using cellphone signals.

READ MORE: South Carolina man charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting Alberta woman

When officers surrounded the trailer in Norris, S.C., the woman is said to have jumped through a plate-glass window to escape. Police said they broke into the barricaded trailer where they found a suspect in a rear bedroom. They say he held deputies off by putting a knife to his own throat before finally surrendering.

The woman’s name and her hometown have not been released.

If Urey is convicted on all charges, he could face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison instead of 90 years.

A trial date has not been set.

“The district attorney is still getting in evidence in the case. They’ve got a lot more homework to do,” said Barker. “It’s just a step in the process.”

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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