Judge weighs dangerousness of 4 accused in Auburn kidnapping

WORCESTER — A teenager who was missing from New Jersey only to be found in the basement of an Auburn house on Dec. 27 told police that she had been raped, held against her will, her hair shaved and she was forced to go outside barefoot and fight one of her assailants, according to testimony at a dangerousness hearing Wednesday in Central District Court.

The alleged assailants, Krystal Lugo, 23, and Yariel Torres-Abee, 22, both of 45 Taft St., Southbridge; Yuleney Ortiz, 19, of 19 Chestnut St., Auburn; and Christopher Lugo, 19, of 10 White Terrace, Auburn, face kidnapping charges in the case. Ms. Lugo was ordered held without bail by Judge Paul F. LoConto, who found she would be a risk to the victim and others if she was released. The hearings for the other three defendants were continued until Friday to allow Judge LoConto to review documents and other evidence in the case.

The court heard from Assistant District Attorney Tara Nechev, several Auburn police officers and attorneys for the defendants.

Ms. Nechev argued that Ms. Lugo be held without bail and detailed why she should be considered dangerous. She said the house at 10 White Terrace in Auburn, where the attack allegedly took place, is owned by Ms. Lugo’s family and known to police, who were called there 144 times since 2003. She said Ms. Lugo became angry with the victim after a home invasion early in the morning of Dec. 27. She accused the victim of working with the two men who broke in to the house demanding marijuana, pistol whipping Christopher Lugo and firing two shots into the ceiling.

The assistant district attorney said the victim, who was a runaway from New Jersey, was picked up by Ms. Lugo and Mr. Ortiz in Leominster and taken to Auburn, where she stayed the next two days and was allegedly raped by several people. Ms. Lugo also allegedly had her go outside without shoes on to fight with her. The attack ended only after Ms. Lugo’s brother warned that the neighbors were watching. The victim was then taken downstairs, tied to a chair with duct tape, and a machete was placed at her throat while she was interrogated about the identities of the people involved in the home invasion. The assailants allegedly cut off her hair and beat her.

As Ms. Nechev testified, Ms. Lugo shook her head in disagreement. The defendant was said to have a history of mental health issues and has tried to harm herself. She also previously attacked a juvenile, chasing that victim across a soccer field with a car, it was alleged.

Earlier in the Wednesday hearing, Auburn Police Officer George Vranos said police went to the house at 10 White Terrace in Auburn after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that a 16-year-old girl had been raped and tortured and was being held against her will. Inside the house, he said, police found several people, including the distraught teenager, who was in the basement, in what he described as a torture chamber that looked like an interrogation room. The room was set off with a blanket from the rest of the cellar, which was being used as a bedroom.

Police investigating the attack found the victim’s hair in a Christmas bag and cigarettes that were used to burn her.

An affadavit for a search warrant filed with court documents shows the victim told police she was burned with cigarettes and an electric clothes iron, was kicked by Ms. Lugo and was sexually assaulted by multiple people in the house. Police found several used condoms in various areas of the house.

Ms. Lugo’s attorney, Sean McGinty, argued that his client was not dangerous. He said she has an 18-month-old child at home and works full time for Metro PCS. He suggested she be released on $500 bail, be monitored with GPS and be ordered to stay away from the victim and witnesses in the case.

Judge LoConto said the evidence was sufficient to find Ms. Lugo should be held without bail for 120 days. She is to return to court for a hearing in 30 days. In addition to kidnapping, she is charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and larceny under $250.

Mr. Lugo is also charged with rape, and drugging to confine.

Mr. Torres-Abee is also charged with assault and battery.


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