NJ strip club co-owner convicted of gang rape in 2012 becomes fugitive
A Clifton man convicted of his role in a brutal gang rape at a strip club has disappeared at the end of his trial, authorities say.
A Passaic County Superior Court jury found Luis Guzman, 43, guilty of aggravated sexual assault and more than a dozen other counts for the 2012 sexual assault at the Gentlemen’s Club in M B, which he actively owned with his brother and co-defendant, Brian Guzman.
The victim, then 26 years old and a former dancer at the Passaic club, testified that she had been drugged by one of the club’s managers after the club closed for the night of November 5, 2012 and that she was then repeatedly sexually assaulted by six people. .
Guzman encouraged the sex crimes, which he recorded for more than an hour, Passaic County District Attorney Camelia Valdes said.
The victim reported the sexual assault to Passaic police shortly thereafter and was treated at a local hospital.
Police recovered the video, which was entered into evidence at trial.
Although he was present for the testimony portion of his own trial, Guzman did not appear during closing statements and jury deliberations.
His bail was revoked and a warrant for his arrest was issued. The sentence will be set once he is back in custody, the prosecutor said.
Brian Guzman and another defendant, Fernando Vaquero, fled in 2016 before their trial, according to the prosecutor’s office. The arrest warrants against them were still pending.
A 2019 rreport by NorthJersey.com said Brian Guzman and Vaquero were expelled.
Prosecutors confirmed Thursday that Brian Guzman and Vaquero received eviction orders and were voluntarily deported. It was not immediately clear which country they were each returning to.
Michael Ramirez and Trystal Lozada have previously been convicted for their role in the gang’s sexual assault and sentenced to 30 and 20 years in state prison, respectively.
Miguel Delacruz previously pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and was sentenced in 2018 to 12 years in state prison – 85% of the sentence to be served before eligibility for parole.
Ashley Maldonado pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and was due to be sentenced Oct. 21.
Brothers Luis and Brian Guzman were the acting owners of Mr. B’s and served as its general managers, prosecutors told New Jersey 101.5 – a third brother not involved in the case was the true owner of the club.
Ramirez and Vaquero also ran the club, while Maldonado and Lozada were dancers and DeLaCruz was a friend of the Guzman brothers.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]
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