A man from the southwest town of Bedford was sentenced to four terms of life in prison. Twenty-four-year-old Eric Houk was handed the sentences, plus 10 more years, after he was found guilty by jury in October on one count of first degree kidnapping, three counts of third degree sexual abuse, and one count of second degree arson.
Houk was accused in the December, 2007 kidnapping of an 18-year-old Bedford woman. D.C.I. officials say he also set her car on fire and sexually assaulted her. The woman was seen leaving work at the Bedford Hy-Vee before police found her car on fire in a local café parking lot.
Hours later, officers located Houk and the missing woman at his residence in rural Bedford. He was apprehended without resistance. In October, the jury heard four days of arguments before returning guilty verdicts on all five felony charges.