A Council Bluffs man who was arrested in Florida on warrants for kidnapping and sexual assault made his first appearance in Pottawattamie County District Court Monday.

U.S. Marshals arrested Kenneth Swanger, 33, Dec. 7, in Pensacola, Fla. He is charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual abuse for holding a Council Bluffs woman against her will for three days and sexually assaulting her before she was able to escape.

Court documents indicated Swanger held the woman captive from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

An arrest warrant affidavit stated during the three-day span, Swanger allegedly attempted to remove two of the woman's fingernails, fractured a bone under her left eye and pinched her skin in several places with pliers.

The document also alleges Swanger forced the woman to perform oral and anal sex.

The woman was able to escape Nov. 2 and she ran to the Department of Human Services where she was able to receive assistance from employees.

Council Bluffs Police Det. Ray Robinson said that an arrest warrant was issued for Swanger Nov. 20 after an investigation by the department.

Swanger was arrested Dec. 7 by federal marshals as he drove out of a parking lot at a Wal-Mart in Pensacola, Fla.

Members of a violent fugitives task force were driving through parking lots in the Pensacola area when they spotted a pickup truck matching the description of one Swanger had been seen in earlier, according to the affidavit.

Task force members followed the truck until other officers arrived. Swanger initially gave a false name to officers. He wasn't carrying any identification, but was positively identified by his fingerprints, officials said.

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Swanger had been working for a friend pruning and planting palm trees and escaped Florida authorities earlier this month by climbing out of a window at a friend's house, officials said.

First-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault are both Class A felonies in Iowa. Both crimes carry a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Swanger is being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on a $200,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 28.

- Chad Nation

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