Ohio man denies rape, keeping woman in closet

A man charged with raping a woman and keeping her captive in a closet for days pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Friday.

The woman has told the Hamilton JournalNews and The Cincinnati Enquirer that William Manis kept her tied up in a closet for 10 days and raped her repeatedly. Manis told her he intended to sell her as a sex slave but decided to keep her as "a pet," the woman said.

Manis, 44, of Hamilton entered his plea in Butler County Common Pleas Court, prosecutor's spokeswoman Melissa Spurlock said. The judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Manis, and he was ordered held on $1 million bond. Manis was indicted Thursday on two counts of kidnapping and nine counts of rape.

A message was left Friday at the office of Manis' attorney, Jeremy Evans.

The 22-year-old woman has acknowledged that she has been a prostitute and went into Manis' home voluntarily, but said Manis then assaulted her and kept her captive until she escaped by jumping out a second-story window.

Manis' attorney told Judge Noah Powers on Friday that his client "has a history of psychological deficiencies throughout the course of his life," the JournalNews reported.

Evans also said the exposure of the story to the public has been "massive" and asked the judge to limit the flow of some information in the case to ensure his client's right to a fair trial. The judge did not rule on that request.

Assistant Prosecutor Jason Phillabaum said in a motion seeking the high bond that the woman was able to escape Nov. 26 because Manis forgot to nail the closet door shut, the Enquirer reported.

"She was found by neighbors in a state of extreme fear and hysteria and she still was handcuffed at the hands and the feet with ropes and a gag around her neck," he wrote

Phillabaum also wrote that Manis told the woman that "if she tried to escape, he would kill her and then kill himself."