3 of 5 accused in Elgin kidnapping, cigarette torture plead guilty, get prison
Three of five people charged in the kidnapping and cigarette torture of a teen in Elgin in February 2016 have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in Kane County Court.
Ruby M. Gomez, 22, of Elgin pleaded guilty Thursday to felony home invasion and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to Kane County prosecutors, who dismissed all remaining charges.
Under state law, she will serve half her sentence and gets credit for the last two years at the Kane County jail.
Gino A. Moraca, 26, also of Elgin, pleaded guilty to felony unlawful restraint and trespassing and was sentenced to four years in prison. The most severe charges of kidnapping were dismissed against Moraca, prosecutors said, but under the plea agreement he must testify against other defendants in the case.
Moraca's case had been set for trial on April 16; he, too, can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior in prison.
Judge James Hallock accepted both guilty pleas, prosecutors said.
Kassandra Delgado, 22, of Elgin was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to felony home invasion/causing injury, court records show.
In mid-February, Delgado's case was set for a jury trial on May 7, but she quietly returned to court last week and admitted guilt. She can have her sentenced halved for good behavior under state law.
Those three defendants, along with two others, were charged with the Feb. 26, 2016, kidnapping of an 18-year-old Belvidere teen from a home on the 500 block of Levine Court in Elgin.
The teen, according to police and court records, was taken to an apartment on the 300 block of Raymond Street, where she was forced to strip, her phone was taken, she was repeatedly beaten and she was burned with lit cigarettes to disfigure a shoulder tattoo.
The teen was kept overnight and freed after police received a call of a person being held against her will.
Several people were arrested in days and weeks afterward, with Luis Palomar, who is accused of being the mastermind of the scheme and who is the ex-boyfriend of the victim who had a matching shoulder tattoo, arrested in mid-March 2016 in Mexico.
Cases against Palomar, 20, of Lake in the Hills, and Megan A. Lino, 21, of Carpentersville, are still pending.
Palomar, who also faces felony drug and burglary charges for arrests while he was free on bail, is next due in court March 22.
Lino is fighting to have her statements to police banned from trial. Her attorney will argue the matter on May 11.
If convicted in the kidnapping/torture case, each faces up to 30 years in prison.