NJ strip club co-owner convicted of gang rape goes fugitive
Luis Guzman is wanted after his sex assault conviction (PCPO/Google Maps) Luis Guzman is wanted after his sex assault conviction (PCPO/Google Maps)
A Clifton man convicted of his role in a brutal gang rape at a strip club went missing as his trial wrapped up, according to authorities.
A Passaic County Superior Court jury found 43-year-old Luis Guzman guilty of aggravated sexual assault and more than a dozen other charges for the 2012 sexual assault at Mr. B’s Gentlemen’s Club, which he actively co-owned with his brother and co-defendant, Brian Guzman.
The victim, a then 26-year-old former dancer at the Passaic club, testified that she was drugged by one of the club’s managers after the club closed for the night on Nov. 5, 2012 and was then repeatedly sexually assaulted by six people.
Guzman encouraged the sex crimes, which he recorded for more than an hour, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said.
The victim reported the sex assault to Passaic Police shortly after and was treated at a local hospital.
Police recovered the video, which was entered into evidence during the trial.
Though he was present for the testimonial portion of his own trial, Guzman failed to appear during closing statements and jury deliberations.
His bail has been revoked and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Sentencing would be scheduled once he’s back in custody, the prosecutor said.
Brian Guzman and another defendant, Fernando Vaquero, fled in 2016 prior to their trials, according to the prosecutor's office. Arrest warrants for their apprehension were still outstanding.
A 2019 report by NorthJersey.com said that Brian Guzman and Vaquero had been deported.
Prosecutors confirmed on Thursday that both Brian Guzman and Vaquero had deportation orders and were voluntarily deported. It was not immediately known to which country they each returned.
Michael Ramirez and Trystal Lozada were previously found guilty for their roles in the gang sex assault and sentenced to 30 years 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 — with 85% of the term to be served before parole eligibility.
Ashley Maldonado pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and was scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21.
Brothers Luis and Brian Guzman were the acting owners of Mr. B’s and were the head managers there, prosecutors confirmed to New Jersey 101.5 — a third brother not involved in the case was the club’s actual owner.
Ramirez and Vaquero managed the club as well, while Maldonado and Lozada were dancers and DeLaCruz was a friend of the Guzman brothers.