Baton Rouge man kidnaps woman from domestic violence center | Crime/Police

Baton Rouge man kidnaps woman from domestic violence center | Crime/Police

A Baton Rouge man was arrested after reportedly breaking into a local domestic violence center, kidnapping a woman and beating and raping her for several days.

On July 4, Robert Lee Cole, 45, of Baton Rouge, breached an exterior fence at the Iris Center for Domestic Violence in Baton Rouge and forcibly removed a woman from the facility, according to a BRPD arrest warrant.

The man appeared to have fled when officers arrived at the scene. Five days later, BRPD officers responded to a 911 call from the woman who had been abducted from the facility, investigators said.

The victim told police that Cole held her against her will, that she feared for her life and that she was unable to call the police because he broke her cell phone.

When officers arrived at the scene to free the woman, she told authorities that Cole forced her into a car the day before she kidnapped Iris on July 4 and asked her where she had been.

According to court documents, Cole held the woman captive in his apartment over the next few days, raped her, and physically abused her on multiple occasions.

“At one point he strangled her, causing her to lose consciousness,” an investigator wrote.

According to records, Cole is currently on probation for a previous incident of aggravated assault in a domestic violence incident in August 2023.

Cole was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail on July 9. He was charged with first-degree rape, false imprisonment, kidnapping, domestic violence strangulation and criminal damage to property.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.