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Milton man sentenced for kidnapping ex-girlfriend

SARATOGA COUNTY -- A Milton man will spend 20 years in state prison for kidnapping his ex-girlfriend.

Ryan Place, 29, was sentenced on Monday in Saratoga County Court. A jury convicted him in June on kidnapping and aggravated harassment charges.

Prosecutors say Place dragged the victim by her hair into the woods, beat her repeatedly and even made her dig her own grave with her hands. The incident happened more than a year ago in July 2013.

Place's parents maintain their son is not guilty of what prosecutors say he did. "He's guilty of assault, that was it. He served a year for that," says Jo Place, the defendant's mother. "He shouldn't have slapped her, "she continues, " but he didn't do the other stuff. The woman was in my house overnight. If she was in trouble, all she had to do was yell.

The victim, who was in court for the sentencing, says she is strong after this horrible experience, and happy to be alive.