First trial set in Elgin 2016 kidnapping, cigarette torture case
The first of five people charged in the kidnapping and cigarette torture of a teen in Elgin in 2016 is set to go on trial in April.
Gino A. Moraca, 26, of Elgin faces felony charges of aggravated kidnapping and is set for trial April 16 in Kane County.
Moraca was arrested in March 2016 and initially charged with unlawful restraint and obstructing justice/destroying evidence in connection with the abduction of an 18-year-old from Belvidere.
A grand jury in May 2016 later indicted Moraca on the upgraded and more severe kidnapping charges. He is accused of "knowingly and secretly" confining the teen and striking her in the head to cause "bleeding on the brain," court records show.
Judge D.J. Tegeler revoked Moraca's bail in April 2017. One condition of Moraca's bail was no new arrests, but he had been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Dec. 2, 2016, in Kane County and Jan. 6, 2017, in Genoa, court records show.
He also was arrested Dec. 20, 2016, on misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property, trespassing and battery, along with driving while his license was revoked on Jan. 23, 2017, records show.
Luis Palomar, 20, of Lake in the Hills, the ex-boyfriend of the victim, is believed to have hatched the plan, court records show.
He and three others -- Megan A. Lino, 20, of Carpentersville, along with Ruby M. Gomez and Kassandra Delgado, both 22 and from Elgin -- are accused of forcing their way into a residence on the 500 block of Levine Court in Elgin the night of Feb. 26, 2016, physically abducting the teen, and taking her to Moraca's residence on the 300 block of Raymond Street.
There, according to an affidavit used to secure a search warrant, she was force to strip, she was beaten, and a shoulder tattoo that matched Palomar's was burned with cigarettes.
The next day, someone called police to report a person being held against her will and she was freed.
Delgado is due in court Wednesday. Lino is next due in court Feb. 23, when her attorney will argue to have statements she made to police banned from being used in court. Palomar and Gomez are both due in court March 1.
If convicted of the most severe charge, Moraca faces up to 30 years in prison.