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Third suspect charged for holding teen captive in Willmar

WILLMAR -- A third suspect has been charged for allegedly helping keep a teenager captive in a Willmar apartment, assaulting him and taking his money. Rogelio Esquivel Torres, 30, of Willmar, made his first appearance Friday in Kandiyohi County D...

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WILLMAR - A third suspect has been charged for allegedly helping keep a teenager captive in a Willmar apartment, assaulting him and taking his money.

Rogelio Esquivel Torres, 30, of Willmar, made his first appearance Friday in Kandiyohi County District Court on felony charges of kidnapping for ransom and false imprisonment and a gross misdemeanor charge of check forgery.

Two other suspects, 21-year-old Jose Agapito Sanchez and 25-year-old Ashley Connie Marie Valadez, were formally charged in June in connection with the incident.

Torres allegedly is a friend of Sanchez and was involved in holding the youth in the apartment for two days this past May, according to the criminal complaint.

Court records said the 17-year-old captive was one of two boys from Prairie Lakes Youth Program who were reported missing May 28 when they failed to return to the non-secure unit from their jobs in the community.

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The youths allegedly had made arrangements to pay $1,000 to Sanchez and Valadez for a ride to Winona but didn't have the money, so they jumped out of the vehicle and ran when the vehicle stopped at a convenience store in Winona.

One of the youths managed to escape. The other boy was forced at gunpoint back into the vehicle, driven back to Willmar and held captive in an apartment, where he was assaulted several times, according to court records. He was eventually freed and was found by a Willmar Police officer while returning on foot to Prairie Lakes.

According to the criminal complaint, Torres helped Sanchez and Valadez keep the youth imprisoned in the apartment. At one point, according to the complaint, Torres brought the youth to a check cashing business, forced him to cash a paycheck belonging to the other youth and took the money.

Bail for Torres was set Friday at $100,000 unconditionally and $50,000 with conditions.

Torres also made a first appearance Friday in two additional criminal cases. In one, he is charged with first-degree burglary and criminal damage to property for allegedly breaking into a Willmar man's apartment June 15 with another suspect and threatening him over the collection of a $40 debt.

In the second case, he is charged with theft, motor vehicle theft, receiving stolen property and financial transaction card. He is alleged to have helped steal a car in downtown Willmar June 28 and use the owner's credit cards at two local businesses. The vehicle was recovered in the garage of a Willmar house but had been stripped down and dismantled.

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