Warning: Details in this story are graphic and may be disturbing for some viewers.
A Palatine man accused of kidnapping a woman and holding her against her will inside a suburban building pleaded not guilty Wednesday to several major felonies.
Ryan Storm, 20, was indicted earlier this month by a Lake County Grand Jury on various charges, including eight counts of criminal sexual assault, three counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery, officials said.
According to the Lake County Attorney's Office, criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping are Class X felonies. If convicted, mandatory sentencing ranges from six to 30 years in prison.
Storm's next court date is Aug. 6.
He was ordered held on $3 million bond last month, pending the results of an Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment hearing to determine the risk of repeat abuse.
During his bond hearing, prosecutors said Storm met a woman he previously had a relationship with in a Palatine parking lot. As the woman left, Storm attempted to kiss her, but she rebuffed, prosecutors said. That's when officials allege Storm grabbed her by her throat, hit her and forced her into his car.
According to authorities, Storm took the woman to an industrial building where he worked in Lake Barrington. When she attempted to grab the steering wheel, he threatened to "slit her neck," prosecutors said.
Once at the building, Storm allegedly cut off the woman's clothes using a box cutter, penetrated her anus and vagina, at one point using a beer bottle, and tied her to a forklift.
Prosecutors said Storm repeatedly threatened to snap the woman's throat.
He was charged Wednesday with kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint. The Lake County Sheriff's Office said additional charges are "likely."
Police credited a 911 caller's "gut feeling" with saving the woman's life.
The sheriff's office said it responded to a report of a possible sexual assault in progress around 2 a.m. Wednesday at a business in the 28000 block of Commercial Avenue in Lake Barrington.
There, a 911 caller said he was checking on the well being of a 20-year-old man, identified as Storm, who worked at the address.
"A strange call from Storm prompted the caller to check Storm’s well-being," the sheriff's office said in a release.
But when the caller went into the business, Storm fled out a door and the caller found a nude woman bound to a piece of heavy equipment.
"The woman, a 20-year-old, had been battered and was the victim of a sexual assault," the sheriff's office said, adding that an investigation found she had been held against her will.
She was taken to an area hospital where she is recovering, according to police.
Officers from multiple area suburbs began searching for Storm and received information he had been spotted on Ski Hill Road in Fox River Grove.
A Fox River Grove officer then found Storm running in the 900 block of Ski Hill Road and took him into custody, authorities said.
"I firmly believe that the victim’s life was saved because of the gut feeling the caller had, and the caller taking the further step of checking on the situation in the middle of the night," Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg said in a statement. "That, in conjunction with terrific law-enforcement collaboration, saved the victim’s life and allowed us to take the offender into custody.”