They describe themselves as activists and defenders of human rights, but now a man and woman Polk County are under arrest, charged with horrific abuse involving a teenage girl.
Together, Matthew McDaniel and his wife, Michu Uaiyue, are facing 14 criminal charges ranging from sexual abuse and physical assault to tampering with a witness.
The couple live on a farm in the small town of Falls City, southwest of Salem.
According to court records, a teenage girl told investigators that McDaniel sexually abused her on several occasions, in which he “tied her up after removing her clothing” and “would ‘smack’ her if she did not touch” him sexually.
Court records also detail disturbing acts of physical abuse in which the girl reported Uaiyue “punished her by binding her to roof hooks in the garage with hay bailing twine and left her tied up for several days as punishment.”
The girl also reported Uaiyue “melted a plastic bottle causing the melted plastic to drop on her bare hand and bare legs,” beatings so intense they would “tear skin off [her] body,” and other acts of abuse involving broken glass, a knife, heated metal and sticks.
Court records show doctors found scars and injuries on the girl consistent with her reports and described them as “too numerous to count.”
Both McDaniel and Uaiyue were indicted by a grand jury in the case and were booked into jail. They both pleaded not guilty and have been released pending their court cases.
Records show McDaniel is also accused of assaulting the girl a year ago, and investigators said Uaiyue threatened the girl to drop the charges. She did, but they’ve now been filed again.
McDaniel is a well-known activist who lived in Thailand for several years, and founded the Akha Heritage Foundation to champion the human rights of the Akha people in Asian countries.
Reached by phone Thursday, McDaniel declined to comment on the allegations.
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