Man and woman charged with kidnap and rape in Red Bank

Man and woman charged with kidnap and rape in Red Bank

July 4th, 2013 by Tyler Jett in Local Regional News


This story is featured in today's TimesFreePress newscast.

Samantha Heather Cronin

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Joseph Michael Lawhorn

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Last week, a woman called Red Bank police and said she needed to meet them. When they arrived, officers found a beaten woman. Her right eye was swollen shut, her left eye ringed with blood. Bruises spotted her body.

She told them she spent the night before -- June 25 -- as a prisoner in someone else's home. She said a man and woman beat her, raped her and wouldn't let her leave, according to an arrest report. She said it happened in room E84 at Chalet Apartments on Dayton Boulevard.

There, police found 22-year-old Samantha Heather Cronin and 32-year-old Joseph Michael Lawhorn. Officers charged both with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Cronin is at the Silverdale Detention Facility in lieu of a $125,000 bond. Lawhorn, who police say also goes by the last name "Hislar," is at the Hamilton County Jail. His bond is $200,000. Both await a court appearance at 3 p.m. on July 29.

After going to Erlanger hospital to receive treatment for her injuries, according to the arrest report, the victim gave this account: Cronin and Lawhorn welcomed the victim into their apartment about 5:30 p.m. on June 25. The victim had just met Cronin earlier that day.

That evening, the three of them drank. Then Cronin and Lawhorn talked about the victim working as an escort. She said she might be interested.

"But things then changed," the arrest report states.

Lawhorn got angry. He punched the victim in the eye. Then he raped her. Cronin did, too.

All the while, Lawhorn continued to beat the victim.

When Cronin and Lawhorn were finished, the victim tried to leave. But Lawhorn said she couldn't -- not until her injuries healed. Cronin and Lawhorn hid the victim's clothes. She tried to use her cellphone, but she was assaulted again.

Eventually, she said, Cronin and Lawhorn fell asleep. That's when she escaped.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at or 423-757-6476.