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Willmar man makes guilty plea covering three crimes

WILLMAR -- A Willmar man has pleaded guilty to several felonies in connection with a series of crimes that occurred earlier this year. Rogelio Esquivel Torres, 30, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Kandiyohi County District Court to felony charg...

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WILLMAR - A Willmar man has pleaded guilty to several felonies in connection with a series of crimes that occurred earlier this year.

Rogelio Esquivel Torres, 30, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Kandiyohi County District Court to felony charges connected to three separate court files. Since the charges will require prison time, he asked to begin serving his time immediately. Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 17.

Torres had been accused of participating in holding a teenager in a Willmar apartment in May. The teen reported that he had been held in the apartment, beaten and robbed.

In that case, he faced felony charges of kidnapping for ransom and false imprisonment.

Torres faced felony charges of motor vehicle theft, theft and receiving stolen property for the theft of a car from downtown Willmar in June. He also faced a felony charge of first-degree burglary for allegedly entering a home unlawfully and causing property damage in June. Each case included misdemeanor charges as well.

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In his plea agreement, Torres agreed to plead guilty to deprivation of parental rights in the kidnapping case, third-degree burglary in the break-in case and receiving stolen property in the car theft case. The agreement seeks concurrent sentences for the three pleas and seeks a sentence in the middle of the state sentencing guidelines.

According to court records, a 17-year-old was held captive after he and another boy ran away from the non-secure unit at Prairie Lakes Youth Programs in Willmar. The boys allegedly hired A man and woman to drive them to Winona, but they weren't able to pay.

The boys ran, and one got away. The other was forced back into the vehicle at gunpoint and driven back to Willmar. He was held in an apartment and assaulted several times. He was eventually freed, and was found by a Willmar Police officer returning to Prairie Lakes on foot.

Torres was charged as an accomplice for taking the boy to a check cashing business and forcing him to cash a check.

Torres was also alleged to have helped steal a car, strip it down and use the owner's credit cards. In addition, he was charged with breaking into an apartment and allegedly threatening the resident over collecting a $40 debt.

Related Topics: THEFTBURGLARY
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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