Six years might seem like a relatively lights sentence, considering that Irish Boyce, 46, kept a woman captive in her home for six weeks. Yet Boyce’s actions also led to the woman’s rescue when she turned on her abusive boyfriend and told a police officer what was going on behind closed doors.
The victim, who has not been identified, initially visited the home of Boyce and her boyfriend, Ronnie Lee, Jr. 48, because she wanted heroin. Yet instead of receiving the drugs, the couple tied her to a bed and left her there for six weeks. Boyce participated in some of the abuse, according to the victim, and once beat her with a wooden closet rod. However, the lion’s share of the abuse came from Lee, who raped and tortured the woman regularly for days on end. The victim said she was hardly fed and rarely allowed to sleep. She said that Boyce sometimes injected her with drugs to make her more compliant.
Boyce’s relatives called the police and requested a welfare check, saying they feared Boyce, who had been living with Lee for three months, might be in an abusive relationship. They did not know about the captive woman. When officers arrived, Boyce verbally told them she was fine, but mouthed to officers that she was definitely not okay. One of the officers led her a distance away from the house, where she told authorities about the kidnapped woman.
In court, Boyce testified against Lee and claimed that she participated in the terrible acts because Lee had threatened the lives of her children and grandchildren if she refused. She said he was a regular meth smoker who was constantly paranoid that Boyce and his victim were plotting against him.
Boyce’s lenient sentence is the result of a plea deal, and her willingness to testify against Lee. Lee has been sentenced to 105 years in prison on numerous drugs charges and several counts of rape and sodomy. Sure, prison’s no walk in the park, but it sounds like Boyce’s six years will be better than even six weeks with Lee.
Featured Image: Irish Boyce (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)