Former NYPD Officer Pleads Guilty In Connection With Obstructing A Federal Investigation And Helping A Gang Leader Evade Capture After Committing Murder
Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that AQUILINO TORRES was convicted of kidnapping, kidnapping of a minor, and stalking for the October 2020 kidnapping and stalking of an adult female victim (“Victim-1”) and the kidnapping of Victim-1’s 7-year-old son (“Minor Victim-1”). TORRES was convicted following a one-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Aquilino Torres threatened to kill a 7-year-old child in carrying out a brutal kidnapping of the child and his mother. Torres then held his victims captive and physically abused both mother and child. Thanks to the FBI and NYPD, Torres was apprehended, prosecuted, and now stands convicted of these horrific crimes.”
As reflected in the Indictment, documents previously filed in the case, and evidence introduced at trial:
On or about October 5, 2020, TORRES texted and called Victim-1 hundreds of times, including a text threatening to “kick [Minor Victim-1’s] teeth out.” Later that night, TORRES took Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 to a motel in the Bronx, where he hit Minor Victim-1 in the face and assaulted Victim-1, breaking her jaw. While TORRES assaulted Victim-1, he told Victim-1, in sum and substance, that he would hang Victim-1 and that Minor Victim-1 would be found dead in the river. For the next five days, TORRES held Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 against their will at an apartment in Washington Heights, without medical treatment for Victim-1’s broken jaw. On or about October 10, 2020, Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 escaped from the apartment and were admitted to a hospital shortly thereafter. In response to their escape, between on or about October 10, 2020, and on or about October 13, 2020, TORRES once again sent Victim-1 hundreds of threatening text messages and called Victim-1 hundreds of times. For example, TORRES texted Victim-1, in sum and substance, that, if he made the decision to go looking for her, “there won’t be turning back.” TORRES followed through on those threats and attempted to track down Victim-1 and Minor Victim-1 after they escaped.
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TORRES, 27, was found guilty of (i) one count of kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(1) and (b), which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, (ii) one count of kidnapping of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(1), (b), and (g), which carries a maximum sentence of life and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years, and (iii) one count of stalking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2261A(2)(A) and (B), 2261(b)(3), and 2265A, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI-NYPD Violent Crimes Task Force.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Robles, Sarah L. Kushner, and Andrew S. Dember, and paralegal specialist Ariella Fetman, are in charge of the prosecution.
James Margolin, Nicholas Biase