(STL.News) – Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of AQUILINO TORRES in connection with the kidnapping of his girlfriend and her 7-year-old son. TORRES was arrested yesterday and will be presented in Manhattan federal court later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Aquilino Torres threatened to kill a 7-year-old child in carrying out a brutal kidnapping of the child and his mother. Torres then allegedly held his victims captive for several days, during which he physically abused both mother and child, and sexually assaulted the woman. Thankfully, the victims managed to escape, and thanks to the FBI and NYPD, Torres is in custody and facing federal prosecution for horrific crimes.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “The conduct we allege in this case is horrific. Torres allegedly broke a mother’s jaw, tied her hands to a bed frame after physically and sexually assaulting her, and held her and her seven-year-old child against their will for several days. In spite of all she endured, the victim was able to escape her captor with her son and bring them both to safety. The resiliency she and her son showed is commendable, and as a result of their heroic actions, Torres will now face justice. I sincerely hope that provides them some comfort; we will do everything in our power to help them heal.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said: “In kidnaping a mother and her son, as alleged in this case, the defendant harmed innocent victims and that will never be tolerated. I commend our NYPD investigators and federal partners for their hard work to bring justice in this case.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint:
On or about October 5, 2020, TORRES approached his girlfriend (“Victim-1”) in the vicinity of Harlem in New York, New York, and threatened to kill Victim-1’s 7-year-old son (“Minor Victim-1”) if she did not come with TORRES. TORRES brought Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 to a motel in the Bronx, where he proceeded to lock the door and physically assault Victim-1, including by punching Victim-1 several times in the face and body. TORRES then had sex with Victim-1 against her will. The following day, TORRES directed Victim-1 to order an Uber to take TORRES, Victim-1, and Minor Victim-1 to an apartment in Washington Heights (the “Apartment”). TORRES forced Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 to stay in the Apartment against their will for multiple days. On at least one occasion, TORRES tied Victim-1’s hands to a bed frame to prevent her from leaving the Apartment while he was away. TORRES also physically assaulted Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 while at the Apartment. On or about October 10, 2020, Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 escaped from the Apartment. Thereafter, Victim-1 was admitted to a hospital, where she was found to have a broken jaw that required surgery.
TORRES is charged with: one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum term of life in prison, and one count of kidnapping of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum term of life. The maximum potential sentences and the mandatory minimum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, in particular, the Violent Crimes Task Force. The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney David Robles is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.