A 16-year-old missing New Jersey girl who was found in the basement of a Massachusetts home told police she was held against her will, raped several times, had her hair shaved off and burned with a cigarette, according to testimony at a Wednesday hearing.
Auburn police Officer George Vranos said the teenage girl, believed to be a runaway, was found on Dec. 27 inside a room that he described as a “torture chamber.”
He said she was crying when they discovered her and when police asked her to remove a knit hat she was wearing. After seeing a bag full of hair near her, they saw her head had been shaved.
“She was looking at the floor whimpering,” Vranos testified during a dangerousness hearing at Worcester Central District Court, according to Mass Live.
“Her hair was in a Christmas bag," Auburn Detective Eric Dyson said, according to the Boston Herald.
Around the teen, officers also found cigarettes, duct tape with hair, an iron and a pot of water.
Krystal Lugo, 23, of Webster, is charged with kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and larceny under $250; Christopher Lugo, 19, is charged with kidnapping, rape and drugging to confine; Torres-Abee, 22, of Southbridge, is charged with kidnapping and assault and battery; Yuleny Ortiz, 19, of Auburn, is charged with kidnapping.
According to prosecutors, the teenager was picked up in nearby Leominster on Christmas Day and taken to Auburn by Krystal Lugo and Ortiz, where she stayed for two days.
The teenager told police she was given a marijuana cigarette laced with Xanax and was then sexually assaulted several times by different people. Police said they found several used condoms in various areas of the house, the Telegram reported.
However, it seems that an alleged home invasion the morning of Dec. 27 is what triggered the four to hold the teenager in the “torture chamber,” prosecutors said.
Two armed men allegedly rushed into the Auburn home around 6 a.m. that morning, demanding marijuana, pistol whipping Christopher Lugo and firing two shots into the ceiling, police said.
Krystal Lugo, the mother of an 18-month-old child, allegedly accused the victim of working with the two men. She allegedly took the victim outside without shoes on to fight with her; it only ended after Christopher Lugo warned that neighbors were watching.
She “turned on the victim, blaming her for setting them up, for orchestrating the home invasion,” District Attorney Tara Nechev said, according to The Boston Herald.
It was then that she was taken to the basement, where the victim was tied to a chair with duct tape. The assailants allegedly placed a machete at her throat while she was interrogated about the people involved in the home invasion.
The home invasion is still under investigation.
Krystal Lugo, who shook her head in denial as prosecutors discusses the allegations during Wednesday’s hearing, has a long history with police. Officers had been called to the Auburn location 144 times since 2003, prosecutors said.
She was held without bail, despite her attorney arguing she was not a danger. She's set to return to court on Jan. 31.
The dangerousness hearings for three male defendants was set to continue until Friday.