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State attorney's office releases details of Hillsborough abduction, rape

TAMPA — She could hear the sickening sounds of her friend being raped again and again.

The men argued in Spanish. She made out a few words: "Daniel." "Tampa." "Daytona Beach."

From a gap in the duct-tape blindfold, the 24-year-old tried to figure out the places the kidnappers took her and her friend. She recognized a gas station near U.S. 41. She saw what looked like a field.

"We begged them to leave us," she wrote in a statement hours after a brutal attack that began Aug. 16 outside Docks Bar & Grill in Apollo Beach, amid a string of rapes across Tampa Bay.

Hundreds of pages of records released by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office on Thursday further detail the painful ordeal the women endured that Saturday after they were abducted at 3:30 a.m. outside the restaurant where they worked.

Three suspects — Rigoberto Moron Martinez Jr., 20, Vicente Reyes-Carbajal, also called "Daniel," 20, and Jose Guadalupe Walle, 14 — were later arrested and charged.

The women immediately picked out Martinez and Reyes-Carbajal from a collection of Sheriff's Office photos, according to the records.

The four-hour nightmare ended suddenly alongside a stretch of Interstate 75 in Manatee County. The men told their victims to jump out.

One abductor yanked duct tape from their faces.

The men drove off in the Nissan Frontier truck that had belonged to the 24-year-old. Keep the truck, she had pleaded. Just let us go.

The women, one with duct tape still clinging to her hair, searched for a roadside call box. The first phone didn't work. The second did.

But how could they begin to describe what happened?

• • •

A detective spoke with the 31-year-old victim, who had borne the brunt of the attacks. The interview was limited by her emotional state.

Paramedics took her away on a stretcher.

The 24-year-old declined medical attention and gave a fuller account.

She told of the three men, the gun, the multiple rapes, the carjacking, the kidnapping, the duct tape that bound their wrists, eyes and mouths. She described the yellow suede gloves and plaid shirt-jacket that one man wore.

After the men forced them into her truck, they drove up U.S. 41 toward the Big Bend power plant, then down a side road, she said.

The men took turns holding a single gun, passing it among themselves.

While two men raped the 31-year-old at the passenger side of the truck, the third abductor, later identified as Martinez, took the younger woman to the back.

He pulled away the 24-year-old's clothing and began to touch her in ways the law considers rape.

She began to think of ways to deter him. She started talking about AIDS.

"I quickly told him that I had a very serious STD, and that I was dying from it," she wrote in her statement to detectives. "I guess he believed me because he went over to (the other victim) and raped her."

When they were done, they taped the women's mouths and eyes, loaded them in the car and drove around again, according to the victims' accounts.

• • •

Because of a small opening in the 24-year-old's duct tape, she was able to tell detectives that the first rape took place near Noonan Branch Road on the north shoulder in a dirt area.

From there, she said, the abductors headed south onto Dickman Road, then east along Apollo Beach Boulevard. Somewhere along that path, she thought one of the rapists was dropped off.

She remembered seeing a Sonic burger joint before pulling into a commercial plaza, then driving off again — with only two men left in the truck.

They drove to a Bank of America ATM, where one of the abductors tried to get the personal identification number for her credit card. She told him she didn't have one.

The final location she could identify was a Chevron gas station near U.S. 41 and College Avenue. Though her attackers forced her to hide, she knew where she was.

Detectives later retrieved a surveillance image from a Bank of America ATM and matched it to Martinez.

The men made one last stop in what seemed to be a field. They forced the 24-year-old into the front seat and made her hide her head between her knees.

The two remaining men took turns raping her friend again.

Finally, they let the women go.

When the truck was found, later that day, it had been set on fire.

• • •

During an April 2007 arrest for driving without a valid license, Martinez said he was a welder at the Big Bend power plant, the same plant the younger victim reported seeing during their abduction.

Detectives verified that Martinez once worked there and also obtained a description of his vehicle, which they ultimately used to track him down on Aug. 20, four days after the rapes.

At his home, they recovered a blue-checkered flannel shirt-jacket and light brown shorts.

They found yellow work gloves in his pocket and reported they matched those seen in the ATM video.

As deputies handcuffed Martinez, he repeatedly shouted, "I'll show you where the other two are," according to a Sheriff's Office report.

That day, deputies arrested Walle and Reyes-Carbajal after an armed carjacking.

Lab results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement linked Walle, then 13, to DNA found on one of the victims.

He was charged as an adult and could get life in prison.

In the days ahead, the men were linked to other crimes: a July 3 home invasion, robbery and rape in Gibsonton; a July 19 Apollo Beach incident in which an armed man approached two teens, forced them to lie on the ground, then fled when they screamed; and an Aug. 3 rape and robbery at the Table restaurant in St. Petersburg.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or [email protected] Kevin Graham can reached at (813) 226-3433 or [email protected]

State attorney's office releases details of Hillsborough abduction, rape 11/14/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 15, 2008 7:12pm]
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