Two young men were charged and a third remains at large after a teen girl was kidnapped and raped, according to police and court documents filed last week in Frederick.
“This is very, very rare in my experience,” said Detective Joe Palkovic, an assistant supervisor in the Frederick Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. “The violence of it and the nature of the crime, the fact that this involves someone laying in wait, kidnapping the victim and then taking her to a separate location to rape her, is very rare.”
And a younger female acquaintance of the teen girl was identified in charging documents as the suspected mastermind of the crime.
The case began Sept. 5, when Detective Anthony McPeak and Officer 1st Class Marlon Alvarez arrived at a home in the Hillcrest area to interview a high school-age girl about an assault she said happened at about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 1, according to police and two sets of charging documents filed last week in Frederick County District Court.
The Frederick News-Post generally does not publish information that could risk exposing the identities of minors or those identified as alleged victims of sex crimes.
During the interview, the girl told police she was grabbed from behind by the hair as she was walking home Sept. 1. Three young men, two of whom the girl recognized as classmates, slapped her, the documents state. One of them pulled a knife and cut the girl’s chest.
As they took her cellphone and dragged her to a nearby vehicle, they told the girl they were acting on orders from a younger female acquaintance. A rag was forced into the girl’s mouth, and she was driven to an apartment elsewhere in the city, the documents state.
For the next few hours, the girl was raped by her two classmates, identified in charging documents as 17-year-old Edgar Natanal Chicas-Hernandez and 19-year-old Victor Antonio Gonzalez-Guttierres.
The third culprit, who the girl later told police had his face covered and whose voice she did not recognize, used a cellphone to record the crime, the documents state.
“The third, unidentified man mentioned in the charging documents has not been charged. … As the investigation continues, however, we do anticipate there being additional charges in this case,” said Lt. Clark Pennington, commander of the police department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
When the assault finally ended, the young men drove the girl back to where she had been abducted and returned her cellphone, along with a warning.
If she called the police, “next time it will be worse,” they told her, according to the documents.
Despite the threats, the girl eventually agreed to speak with police, along with several male acquaintances who were reportedly contacted by the younger girl through social media, according to the charging documents.
Later, after detectives obtained copies of the social media conversations, they learned that an account associated with the younger girl had offered to give one of those male acquaintances footage of the assault in exchange for “[one] night of pleasure,” according to the documents.
Police also learned that the younger girl had identified herself during the conversation and had even contacted one of the acquaintances before the assault, outlining her plan to extort the older girl for money, the documents state.
Neither Palkovic nor Pennington would discuss details of evidence in the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
“There is some evidence that this victim [the older girl] was indirectly threatened before the incident,” Palkovic said when asked for comment on the evidence outlined in the documents. “We’re still evaluating that information and investigating it.”
While the charging documents indicate detectives interviewed the younger girl at length, Palkovic and Pennington were similarly limited in their ability to comment on that aspect of the investigation.
When questioned about her potential role in the crime, the younger girl admitted that Chicas-Hernandez and Gonzalez-Guttierres would likely tell investigators she told them to commit the assault, the documents state. Despite this, the younger girl repeatedly denied any involvement in the crime, according to the charging documents.
The younger girl repeatedly told investigators that there were several fake social media accounts falsely claiming to belong to her, the documents state.
Chicas-Hernandez was taken into custody Sept. 12 at about 3 p.m. and charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the charges, according to arrest logs and court records. Officers arrested Gonzalez-Guttierres the following day at about 7:45 p.m.
Both young men were charged with kidnapping, first-degree rape, sodomy, and first- and second-degree assault, according to charging documents.
Possible gang affiliations for both Chicas-Hernandez and Gonzalez-Guttierres were mentioned to investigators, according to the charging documents. Pennington confirmed that such ties were being investigated, but had not been confirmed as of Wednesday.
“The information that we have at this point is that they have not been identified as validated gang members,” Pennington said.
Frederick County District Judge O. John Cejka Jr. denied bail to both suspects in bail review hearings after their respective arrests.
“ICE encountered Victor Antonio Gonzalez-Gutierres, a citizen of El Salvador, at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center April 24 after his arrest on local charges and issued him a notice to appear in immigration court. Gonzalez-Gutierres posted immigration bond April 27. ICE has lodged an immigration detainer with Frederick County after his most recent arrest on criminal charges.
“ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States. These detainers serve as a legally-authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely, to continue to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody for removal purposes. Pursuant to ICE policy, all ICE detainers are submitted with an accompanying administrative arrest warrant or warrant of removal depending upon the circumstances of the individual case.”
Frederick police can be reached by calling the department’s non-emergency line, 301-600-2100. Anonymous tips can also be relayed to the department, either by calling 301-600-8477 (TIPS) or via text to 240-674-8477 (TIPS). Finally, tips can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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