A man charged with holding his wife captive in their home over four years by padlocking her into a bedroom and boarding the windows shut could face life in prison if convicted.
Michael Jokinen appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping with bodily injury or fear and unlawful restraint. He was ordered held without bail.
Court documents filed in the case say police were called to the Rutland, Vermont, home Jokinen, 34, shared with his wife in December because of a woman throwing things from the second floor to people at ground level.
The wife and her family told police she had suffered from physical and emotional abuse, including being locked in her bedroom on a regular basis for four years. She also told police her husband, whom she met when she was 18 and he was 30, repeatedly accused her of infidelity and threatened to kill her relatives while the couple was living with his mother.
Court documents say Jokinen told police he locked her in the bedroom. Police also found evidence the door to her bedroom had been padlocked shut and boards had been placed over the window.
Jokinen's attorney did not return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.
Police Detective Sgt. David LaChance said it took months to prepare the case against Jokinen but his wife "was safe and in a secure location that the offender did not know."
"If there was any concern of that (the charges) would have been much sooner," LaChance said.
Police say Jokinen would open the bedroom door and let his wife out when he was around.
The court documents say the wife began planning her escape after running into her father at a store. She later used a social media account she had not used since she moved in with her husband, and they planned her escape.
The wife got her belongings together and placed them on the porch roof outside her bedroom.