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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Honduran National Admits to Kidnapping Woman in Kansas City, Missouri and Raping Her as They Traveled to New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Honduran national today admitted to kidnapping his former girlfriend in Kansas City, Missouri, and raping her while they traveled to New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

José Amaya-Vasquez, 32, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to Count One of an indictment, charging him with kidnapping, and Count Two, charging him with engaging in interstate domestic violence. Amaya-Vasquez previously pleaded guilty to Count Four which charged him with illegally re-entering the U.S. after having been deported.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Amaya-Vasquez is a citizen of Honduras. On Feb. 14, 2005, he attempted to enter the United States illegally in Texas, at which time the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested him, gave him a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court and released him from custody. On July 13, 2005, he failed to appear as ordered, at which time an Immigration Judge entered an Order of Removal.

On June 7, 2014, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department arrested Amaya-Vasquez and charged him with domestic assault after he threw a comb at the Victim and pushed her into a table. The police turned the defendant over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which removed him from the United States on July 4, 2014.

On September 9, 2014, CBP officers arrested Amaya-Vasquez after he illegally entered the United States from Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas. On Sept. 16, 2014, the defendant pleaded guilty to a count of illegal entry before a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Texas and was sentenced to 30 days’ incarceration. On Oct. 22, 2014, ICE again removed the defendant from the United States and he was barred from reentering the United States for 20 years. He admitted that he illegally re-entered the country in January 2015.

On May 23, 2015, Amaya-Vasquez met the victim in the parking lot of the Burlington Coat factory in Independence, Missouri. Amaya-Vasquez entered the victim’s vehicle, threatened her with a knife, duct-taped the victim and then took her and the victim’s 2-year old child to an abandoned house in Kansas City, where he sexually assaulted the victim at knifepoint.

From May 24, 2015, through May 25, 2015, Amaya-Vasquez took the victim and the child towards New York. He stopped at motels in Englewood, Ohio, and Bellmawr, New Jersey, and continued to rape the victim.

On May 26, 2015, officers from the Bellmawr Police Department, acting on information from the Kansas City Police Department, located the victim in the Bellmawr motel. Amaya-Vasquez escaped from the motel as the officers approached. Later that morning, officers from Bellmawr and Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey, arrested Amaya-Vasquez a short distance from the motel. Amaya-Vasquez has been in custody since his arrest.

The kidnapping count to which Amaya-Vasquez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The interstate domestic violence count to which Amaya-Vasquez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The illegal re-entry into the United States count to which Amaya-Vasquez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of two years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster in Philadelphia, special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), under Newark Field Office Director John Tsoukaris, and investigators with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Kansas City Police Department and the Bellmawr Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Jason M. Richardson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Vidoni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
17-135
Updated April 27, 2017