Lower East Side resident sentenced 8 years after kidnapping victim met on Instagram was tortured in Queens

Valerie Rosario faces consequences for her role in a New York kidnapping after an Instagram lure and a failed ransom attempt.

In a chilling case gripping New York, 23-year-old Valerie Rosario faced the consequences of her involvement in a violent kidnapping in 2022. The episode left one man at death’s doorstep, bearing severe burns and multiple wounds from a brutal 24-hour ordeal.

An Instagram Connection Turns Sinister

According to prosecutors, Rosario, a resident of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, lured a man she had connected with on Instagram to an apartment on Marble Hill Avenue. What is the motivation behind this heinous act? The substantial sum of money displayed on her Instagram account. Once the man arrived, Rosario and her accomplices allegedly subjected him to unspeakable horrors.

The victim was stripped and confined to a bathtub where flammable substances were poured on him, subsequently setting him alight. As if that wasn’t enough, they tormented him further with a knife, inflicting injuries “on his legs, back and body,” as stated in the criminal complaint.

A Ransom Call and a Shocking Plea

The kidnappers, in a desperate bid for money, made a FaceTime call demanding a $100,000 ransom from the victim’s brother. This move would soon prove to be their undoing. Police officers, acting on the call, managed to trace one of the suspects. The victim was eventually located in Queens, bound and gagged in the back of a pickup truck, his life hanging by a thread. After being rescued, he was immediately rushed to a hospital for treatment, having sustained burns and stab wounds across his face, body, back, and legs.

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Judge Felicia Mennin, presiding over the case, remarked on its gravity, “I have to say I haven’t seen a set of facts as heinous as these in a long time.” The sentiment was reiterated in her statement, “What they did to the victim in this case is absolutely reprehensible, and people living in a civilized society should not do that to each other,” reported by the New York Post.

A Twist in the Courtroom

In a surprising turn of events, Rosario briefly stunned the court by firing her lawyer and expressing a desire to retract her guilty plea. This decision would have exposed her to the possibility of a trial and a potential 25-year prison sentence. However, an hour later, she reconsidered and accepted her plea deal.

In the wake of these events and after a plea agreement with the prosecution, Judge Mennin sentenced Rosario to 8 years in prison. The young woman had pleaded guilty to charges of attempted assault and kidnapping in June. The gravity of the crime and the impact on the victim were clear in the judge’s final words: “What they did to the victim in this case is absolutely reprehensible.”