NYC woman charged in torture, kidnapping, ransom plot of perceived wealthy man on Instagram

A New York City woman is being held without bail after allegedly abducting a stranger for a group of sadists to torture before issuing a $100,000 ransom demand.

Valerie Rosario, a 22-year-old from the Lower East Side in Manhattan, was reported to have engaged in conversation on Instagram with the unidentified victim, a 24-year-old man. The New York Post reported that, on February 7, the man was invited to an apartment in the Bronx under the premise of engaging in a physical relationship with Rosario.

The prosecution explained that the victim arrived at an address on Marble Hill Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. Three men barged into the apartment after him and reportedly pistol-whipped the victim before stripping him of his clothing.

It was then that Rosario and her accomplices, “placed him in a bathtub, poured flammable substances on him, and burned him with a flame.”

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Kluger spoke about the torture of the victim at Rosario’s Thursday arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. In addition to the burns, the victim was struck with a knife “about the legs, back and body.”

“After multiple hours of torture,” Kluger explained the kidnappers relocated the victim to make present their ransom demand. Reportedly, the victim had been selected because of his overt display of money on his Instagram account.

The masked kidnappers reached out to the victim’s brother on FaceTime, making him watch while one continued to torture the victim with a knife. “Give us one hundred thousand dollars or we will kill him,” court documents described of the kidnappers’ demand.

The New York City Police Department was able to obtain enough evidence to identify one of the accomplices as Javier Vargas and track him down to an address in Queens. When they found Vargas, he was sitting in a van with a knife and the victim was in the back of the vehicle, “unconscious” and “wrapped in a blanket with tape covering his mouth.”

Kluger attests that the victim was “barely breathing” before being brought to a nearby hospital where he was treated for burns and stab wounds all over his body, including his face.

Rosario’s defense attorney Raymond Loving requested that his client be released of her own recognizance to resume her duties at a dentist’s office implying her contribution was needed to support her mother and brother with whom she lives.

However, Kluger requested Rosario be held without bail on the charges of abducting and torturing a “complete stranger.” Judge Soma Syed sided with Kluger and noted the severity of the charges in remanding Rosario into custody.

Vargas and one other alleged kidnapper were also arrested, charged and remanded into custody. Loving issued a statement declaring, “Ms. Rosario denies all the allegations that have been leveled against her.”

She is expected to stand before a grand jury Tuesday where the case will be presented.

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