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Second man pleads guilty in kidnapping of Minnesota teen

Thomas Barker, Steven Powers and Joshua Holby

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — A second man charged last fall in connection with the abduction of an Alexandria teenager pleaded guilty Friday, Sept. 14, in Douglas County District Court.

Joshua Lee Holby, 32, of Carlos, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping, which is a felony-level offense. Under the guidelines and because he has no prior criminal record, Holby is expected to be sentenced to 7 years and two months in prison. His sentencing hearing was set for Jan. 8.

The 15-year-old girl was taken from her home in Alexandria in August 2017 by a man known to her family and held captive in the town of Carlos, north of Alexandria. She was later moved to a lake home in neighboring Grant County. She was able to escape from that home about a month later, swimming across part of a lake to do so.

The girl was able to identify a pickup that she said contained the three men who were her captors — Holby, Thomas Barker and Steven Powers. They were arrested soon after her escape.

In July, Barker pleaded guilty to kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree with a dangerous weapon and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree causing fear of great bodily harm. All are felony-level charges. Barker is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

During Friday's hearing Holby said he lived in Carlos with Barker and was aware a girl " was locked in a closet" in the house.

Holby said the girl was "stuck in a duffle bag" when she was moved from the Carlos house.

The girl's mother said Friday that "I am glad he has admitted what he's done and not fought anything. We want to move forward and until this is all done, I know for myself, I can't."

Holby has to register as a predatory offender and that if he fails to comply with terms when released from prison, he would be incarcerated.

Powers, 21, of Mankato, faces charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment. He has a settlement conference set for Nov. 1.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

(320) 763-1242
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