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Woman found in desert after harrowing, weeklong kidnapping

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Eduardo Hernandez takes question about an abducted woman during a news conference in Los Angeles, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Capt. Hernandez says 54-year-old Stanley Alfred Lawton and 22-year-old Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton left the victim near a military base north of Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A father and a daughter kidnapped a woman in a Las Vegas suburb and brought her to his Southern California house, holding her for at least a week, sexually assaulting her and then leaving her for dead in the desert, authorities said Friday.

Stanley Alfred Lawton, 54, and Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 22, dumped the woman off a highway near Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles, where she was found by military personnel early Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Eduardo Hernandez said at a news conference.

The woman in her 40s was reportedly cold and exposed to the elements. She was taken to a hospital and has since been released, Hernandez said.

The father and daughter knew the victim, but officials didn't provide a motive for the attack. They kidnapped her by gunpoint in North Las Vegas on Oct. 30 and took her to Lawton's home in Palmdale, California, Hernandez said. They kept her in a room, and at some point, sexually assaulted her, authorities said.

Lawton was arrested Wednesday, and his daughter was taken into custody early the next morning. It was not clear if they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

They each face charges of kidnapping to commit a robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping from outside the state, rape and three counts of first-degree ATM robbery, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Hernandez did not give details about the robbery.

Lawton and Poche-Lawton were being held on $4.5 million and $3.5 million, respectively, the district attorney's office said. The father is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

The FBI is investigating the abduction with Los Angeles County and North Las Vegas police.

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The case may be moved to federal court because the victim had been taken across state lines, but only state charges have been filed so far.

North Las Vegas police were gathering information and didn't immediately have comment. Air Force officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The case was first reported by KNBC TV station in Los Angeles.

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This story has been corrected to show authorities released information Friday.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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