Men convicted of brutal kidnap, rape may have chance at freedom - WNEM TV 5

Men convicted of brutal kidnap, rape may have chance at freedom

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Edward Guerrero (left) and Martin Vargas (right) Edward Guerrero (left) and Martin Vargas (right)
JACKSON, MI (WNEM) -

Nearly five decades ago a local teen was abducted, beaten, raped and tortured in one of the most gruesome crimes in Mid-Michigan history.

On Thursday, she went face-to-face with two of her attackers again as they sought leniency from life sentences.

Hearings were held on Thursday for both of the men to determine if they are eligible for parole.

The crime happened 46 years ago when a 17-year-old woman was abducted from a parking lot, beaten and brutally raped by multiple men. She was then driven around for hours and eventually taken to a home where she was paraded as a trophy as more men raped her.

She was left naked and bloody in a junk yard, but she survived.

"I had life ahead of me. I had nothing to fear and then it switched," she said.

Two of her attackers are in their 60s and up for parole, Martin Vargas and Edward Guerrero.

The victim faced both of them in a public hearing on Thursday. She gave a chilling and graphic account of what happened to her and how it impacted her life.

"I was a stranger to them. I had no clue why they chose me. They forced me into the car, started beating me, started raping me," she said. "I was only 17-years-old, an innocent child, a virgin. And they tortured me."

She said three men took turns raping her as they drove around town. Kicking and screaming she tried to get away, but she said they held a knife against her throat threatening her life.

She said the men eventually realized they would have to get rid of her.

"At one point I was totally naked and they dragged me into a graveyard and they were going to throw me into an empty grave. It was cold and it was raining," she said.

But the men couldn't find a spot to leave her, instead they took her to a friend's house. There they paraded her naked, swollen and bloody body in front of more men as a trophy. No one stopped the attack. Instead, the other men took part in the sexual assault.

"Like reliving it all over again, like it's happening right now," she said.

Eventually the men dumped her in a junk yard naked.

She fears she and her family would be in danger if the men were to be set free.

"If these guys get out, they'll do it again. The reason I put them away the first time was I had to protect all those innocents out there, all the other little girls out there not strong enough to get through this," she said.

On the other side, several people spoke out in support of Vargas and Guerrero. They said the men were teenagers when they committed the crime and over the decades they have changed into adults who are different people than they were at the time of their attack.

At the end of Vargas' hearing, a representative from the attorney general's office recommended against granting parole. The parole board will not make their decision for either men for at least a few months.

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