|Updated: 11/08/2012 11:41 pm
||Published: 11/08/2012 9:10 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Jessica Stiles was kidnapped and held hostage in her own home. Joe Patton is convicted of beating, stabbing, and raping her back in April of 2011.
Stiles is now talking about her ordeal with hopes other women will be strong enough to come forward and put their attackers in prison.
Jessica Stiles lives in a new apartment, surrounded by pictures of her loved ones, and a pet hamster. But a year and a half ago, she meet Joe Patton. "We met by chance. He seemed like a nice guy."
But Patton pulled a knife on her, kidnapped, beat, stabbed, and raped her. The fingers on her right hand are now permanently damaged. "What I think really saved my life is being one step ahead of him mentally. I thought he was going to kill me. That's what he told me he was going to do."
Stiles says she was able to calm Patton down. "It was either that, or give up and die. I wasn't ready to give up and die."
She convinced him to let her go. "I was so close to my freedom I was terrified. I didn't know what was going on. I couldn't believe he was really letting me go."
Patton was arrested and taken to the Pulaski County Jail, but in September of 2011, he escaped. "I was very scared he was going to come after me."
Deputies caught Patton on a tip from Stiles a week later. He took a plea deal on Monday from prosecutors.
Stiles is healing slowing. "He's not going to be able to hurt anyone else for a long time and that was my biggest concern, was him hurting other women. They shouldn't be scared to come forward."
Patton is sentenced to 18 years in prison. Stiles says while she's glad he's finally going away where he belongs, she would have liked to face him in court to let him know while he hurt her, he didn't break her.
Stiles is in counseling and has physical and emotional scars for life, but she says her goal is to someday work with victims of sexual assault.
Stiles says she's still fearful and doesn't trust people like she used. She says she worries if Patton escaped from jail once, he could escape again.