A girlfriend of notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman described how the two escaped from Mexican marines by using a hydraulic lift bathtub that led to a sewer tunnel. Prosecutors showed video of the raid and tunnel in court. (Jan. 18)
NEW YORK — Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán allegedly had sex with girls as young as 13 after drugging them, newly disclosed federal court records show.
He referred to the youngest of his alleged underage sex partners as his “vitamins,” “because he believed that sexual activity with young girls gave him ‘life,'” the records show.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors disclosed the records in advance of Monday’s scheduled start of jury deliberations in Guzmán’s trial on charges he led a continuing criminal enterprise that smuggled tons of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.
The 61-year-old defendant could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.
“Joaquin denies the allegations, which lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial. It is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations,” Guzmán’s defense team said in a statement sent to media organizations.
The allegations are based on statements given to federal investigators by Alex Cifuentes Villa, a former top Guzmán lieutenant who became a cooperating government witness and testified against his ex-boss during the trial. Cifuentes is identified only as CW1 in the court filing.
Prosecutors released the records as they began responding to applications from news organizations to provide disclosure of filings that were sealed or redacted during Guzmán’s trial.
According to the account provided by Cifuentes, an associate identified as “Commadre Maria ” regularly sent Guzmán photos of girls as young as 13. For approximately $5,000, Guzmán or his associates “could have the girl of his choice brought to one of (his ranches) for sexual intercourse,” the court filing said.
Prosecutors have started presenting evidence to jurors in the trial of the notorious drug smuggler known as El Chapo by giving them a video tour of a tunnel between Mexico and an Arizona warehouse. (Nov. 14)
Cifuentes, who lived with his boss during 2007-2008, told prosecutors he had sex with girls as young as 15 “three or four times.”
“He witnessed the defendant do the same on multiple occasions, with girls as young as 13 years old,” the court filing said.
Cifuentes also told prosecutors he helped Guzmán by following the boss’ instructions to put a “powdery substance” in the girls’ drinks. Cifuentes told prosecutors he did not do this with the underage girls he bedded, the court filing shows.
Separately, the new court filings also state that Guzmán “raped a cooperating witness, thereafter beginning a romantic relationship with her and drawing her into his criminal enterprise.”
The allegation appeared to refer to Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, a former mistress who testified against Guzmán during the trial. She testified that she met Guzmán when she was about 21 and went on to become the mistress and “housewife” of the man who was more than 30 years older.
Sánchez told jurors how she and a naked Guzmán escaped from a squad of Mexican Marines by fleeing through a Culiacán drainage tunnel by an entrance hidden under the bathtub of one of the boss’s safe houses.
Sánchez later became a Mexican lawmaker in Sinaloa. She was removed from office based on evidence of involvement with the Sinaloa drug cartel, where Guzmán was a senior leader.
Sánchez did not allege she’d been raped when she testified against her former lover. Guzmán has not been charged in connection with the alleged incident and has denied that it occurred.
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