Woman raped by immigrant from El Salvador
Rochelle EB Gilken:
A woman was walking home alone, chatting on her phone, when two men pulled over to make obscene comments.
The 18-year-old told them to get lost, but one of them got out of the car with a three-foot machete, swiped the Sidekick from her ear and forced her into his old black Honda Civic, she told the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
The last thing her cousin heard before the line went dead, about 10 p.m. Dec 23, was the woman saying "relax" in Spanish.
For the next seven hours, the men drove her miles away, then took turns raping her on a secluded street, and again on the beach next to a palm tree at the Lake Worth pier, according to the sheriff's office arrest report.
The men drank Bud Light, stopped for more beer and motor oil and poured beer on her, claiming she disrespected them when they invited her into their car at Sherwood Forest Boulevard and Purdy Lane, a suburban intersection near Greenacres.
On Wednesday, a felon named Jose Guzman, 23, was charged with three counts of armed sexual battery and kidnapping. The other man has not been identified or arrested.
The woman was walking home from the Wal-Mart at Jog Road and Forest Hill Boulevard after Christmas shopping when she was attacked. Newly married a few months, she who works two jobs as a waitress and receptionist.
She was shopping with her husband, but he left in the car after they got into an argument. She started walking home in the dark around 9:30 p.m.
Her husband "was pretty distraught at the hospital. You get in a little tiff and you take the car and let her walk home. . . . He was beating himself up," said Detective Robert Falbe.
The woman told deputies she was so scared that when the men let her out of the car in Lake Worth around 4:45 a.m. Christmas Eve, she was sure that she would be stabbed in the back, the sheriff's office report said.
But when she stepped away, crying, they threw her purse at her, the sheriff's office said.
She went into the Chevron gas station on Lucerne Avenue and someone called 911.
She was then taken to JFK Medical Center. She had body aches and bumps on her head from the car's center console. Neither attacker used a condom, she said.
The investigation led to Guzman after Falbe spotted his Civic at the Tavares Cove mobile home park off Sherwood Forest Boulevard.
Guzman had the same two gold teeth as the attacker. He also had a machete in his car.
The victim, whose name was not released by the sheriff's office because she is a victim of a sex crime, also picked Guzman out of a photo line-up, the arrest report said.
The woman said she doesn't know where she was taken because the men took turns holding her down with the passenger seat reclined.
She said they barely talked, though Guzman complained the other man was driving too fast and they called each other "brother." She saw signs that looked like Interstate 95 and believes they got off around Boynton Beach.
She told them she had a 1-year-old child -- a lie to elicit sympathy -- but they only said they were sorry that her baby and husband would not see her again, the arrest report said.
They later stopped at the Lake Worth pier for more than an hour, and were interrupted after hearing voices nearby.
Guzman, a citizen of El Salvador, does lawn maintenance on a work visa. He told detectives that many lawn workers have machetes and denied involvement.
In October 2001, at 18, he was arrested for battering his live-in girlfriend, who was two months' pregnant. She told deputies he comes home drunk, beats her and chokes her until she nearly passes out.
Three months later, he was arrested by Lantana police, charged with aggravated battery on the same woman, then 19.
Later that year, Boynton Beach police arrested him for leaving the scene of an accident, DUI and other charges after driving into a traffic pole.
The other suspect is described as a Hispanic man with ear-length curly dark hair, a thin beard, acne and a white striped button-down shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call Falbe at (561) 688-4147 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
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