CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Jackson County woman who authorities claim was tortured and held against her will for 10 years by her husband said the allegations are false and she never was abused.
Stephanie Lizon, who made international headlines in July when her husband, Peter, was arrested, spoke with the Daily Mail Thursday before going to South Central Regional Jail to visit him. He remains incarcerated on $300,000 bond on charges of malicious wounding.
Authorities say he brutally abused Stephanie, tortured her and even forced her to give birth while chained up in the basement of their home.
She said those accusations couldn't be further from the truth.
"It's a lie," she said. "I don't know how to put it any other way."
Stephanie, 43, said she and Peter, 37, moved to a 38-acre farm in the Leroy area of Jackson County in 2006 in hopes of living a quiet country life. After a few run-ins with the law, (they were arrested once in 2004 in Maryland for cutting up a Bush/Cheney sign with a bayonet) they wanted a change from their political activist lives.
They used to enjoy riding around their expansive property and "mudding" on all-terrain vehicles and in their jacked-up pickup truck.
They raise goats, pigs and poultry. She said running the farm is hard work that sometimes takes its toll on her body.
All those bumps, bruises, scratches and scars, which she said are part of her daily life on the farm, became evidence against her husband after Stephanie went to a family crisis shelter in June.
She and her young son went with Peter on June 18 to Bosley Rental and Supply in Parkersburg to return a rented rototiller.
She said they got into an argument in the store.
"My husband and I had an argument," Stephanie said. "No one is disputing that we've had arguments. I really don't think that's all that unusual."
She said she told the store clerks she was avoiding her husband and wanted a place to sit down. Stephanie said she has never been afraid of Peter and never for a moment thought her son would be in danger with him.
She has a dry wit and said she is often misunderstood.
She was still angry and didn't want to go back home with Peter at the time. She said she wanted somewhere to cool down.
She called a few motels but didn't have any identification on her at the time. She was told she couldn't get a room without ID. She was given the number for the Family Crisis and Intervention Center and took a cab there, leaving her son with his father in the store.
"I needed a place to stay," Stephanie said. "I wanted what I would refer to as a 'cooling down' period, which is the way I thought people were supposed to deal with conflicts."
At the center, her so-called injuries were photographed and discussed, she said.