3 held without bail in reported Auburn kidnapping

WORCESTER – Three men facing kidnapping charges in connection with an incident in which a teenage girl was reportedly held captive in an Auburn basement last month were ordered held without bail for up to 120 days after a dangerousness hearing Friday in Central District Court.

Yariel E. Torres-Abee, 22, of 45 Taft St., Southbridge; Yuleney Ortiz, 19, of 19 Chestnut St., Auburn; and Christopher P. Lugo, 19, of 10 White Terrace, Auburn, are all charged with kidnapping. In addition, Mr. Torres-Abee is charged with assault and battery and Mr. Lugo is charged with rape and drugging to confine.

Also charged with kidnapping in the case is Krystal Lugo, 23, of 45 Taft St., Southbridge. Ms. Lugo was ordered held without bail on Wednesday

In all four cases, Judge Paul F. LoConto ruled that the defendants would be a risk to the victim and others if released.

The kidnapping and subsequent charges stem from a report that the teenage victim, who was found in the basement of an Auburn house, had been held against her will, duct taped to a chair, drugged, raped, had her hair shaved off and was forced to go outside to fight Ms. Lugo.

According to court documents, five Auburn police officers arrived around 11:15 p.m. Dec. 27 at 10 White Terrace in Auburn after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that a 16-year-old girl was being held against her will.

The victim – who told police that she had run away from New Jersey and had been in Massachusetts for approximately a month and a half – was located by police in the basement of the residence.

The victim told police that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by multiple people at the residence.

A brown chair with yellow tape, a pan of water, cigarette butts, an iron, ironing board, used condoms and a bag containing human hair were also found in the basement, according to court documents.

Court documents show the confidential informant said armed assailants entered the residence in the early morning Dec. 27 and stole money and drugs. The informant said the occupants believed the 16-year-old girl knew the identity of the robbery suspects and threatened to kill her if she didn’t disclose their identities.

Attorney Robert J. Iacovelli, representing Mr. Torres-Abee, argued that the home invasion had nothing to do with the case in hand and there were several “unclear issues” surrounding his client and the victim.

Mr. Iacovelli said Mr. Torres-Abee was aware that there was a girl in the house – a house he doesn’t live in – but he had no knowledge of knowing if the girl was there all day.

In addition, Mr. Torres-Abee was awoken by the sound of gunshots but he had no idea why, or who was responsible, according to Mr. Iacovelli.

Mr. Iacovelli said Mr. Torres-Abee has no police record and has never been in court before, has no history of drugs, alcohol or violence and is “gainfully employed”.

Assistant District Attorney Tara Nechev said the case had everything to do with the home invasion, and it was due to the home invasion that Mr. Torres-Abee allegedly turned against the victim.

Ms. Nechev said Mr. Torres-Abee committed most of the violent acts against the victim, including threatening her by holding a machete to her neck while she was secured to a chair by duct tape, threatening to use pepper spray on her and shaving her hair.

Attorney Christopher J. Grady argued that his client, Mr. Ortiz, was solely present on the premises and not an active participant. Mr. Grady claims that Mr. Ortiz wasn’t in the cellar and was not involved in what happened.

Ms. Nechev argued that Mr. Ortiz was aware of everything that was going on. In addition, Mr. Ortiz has an open case for driving under the influence of drugs and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Attorney Jacqueline M. Dutton argued that the name of her client, Mr. Lugo, is rarely mentioned in the police report and interviews and his role is “minimal at best.” She said no one puts her client downstairs with the victim.

Ms. Dutton added that Mr. Lugo graduated from Bay Path Regional Vocational High School in 2017 and works at a temp agency.

Ms. Nechev said the victim alleges that Mr. Lugo made a special trip to get the duct tape used to secure her and was sitting in a car in the driveway smoking marijuana while Ms. Lugo forced the victim to go outside with only socks on her feet and started to hit and strike her.

The dangerousness hearing on Friday was delayed more than a half-hour while waiting for a Spanish interpreter for Mr. Torres-Abee, who is originally from Puerto Rico. A motion hearing for the four defendants is slated for Jan. 31.


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