The Lowell Sun reports that disturbing new allegations have emerged in a human-trafficking case in which a prosecutor says a Lowell man — who is a member of a notorious street gang — had only been out of prison for several weeks when he plied a vulnerable 13-year-old girl with drugs and alcohol, raped her, and then sold her sexual services to more than five other men.
During a dangerousness hearing on Tuesday in Lowell District Court, prosecutor Megan Williams alleges that in October, 23-year-old Michael Feliz, of Lowell, was released after spending three years in prison for armed robbery.
By early November, Feliz had befriended a “vulnerable” 13-year-old girl, supplied her with heroin, cocaine and alcohol, raped her, and then “passed her around,” selling her sexual services to brothers Angel Alicia, 24, and Michael Alicea, 18, both of Lowell.
Williams alleges the girl reported that she was raped by up to five other men, but she couldn’t identify the others. A search warrant executed at the home where Feliz allegedly brought the girl yielded drug paraphernalia, such as a crack pipe, that supported the alleged victim’s story and showed ongoing drug use, Williams alleges.
The girl reported that the sexual assaults occurred every few days starting in early November and only stopped about a week ago.
“They targeted a child and sexually assaulted her, feeding her drugs and alcohol,” Williams alleges. “These people are not individuals who should be on the street,” Williams said.
The Lowell Sun reports that after Feliz and the Alicea brothers were arrested on Nov. 25, a second potential victim reported that a group of masked men showed up at her home in an attempt to intimidate her, Williams said. Feliz and the Alicea brothers have not been charged in connection with the second alleged victim, but the investigation is continuing.
Lowell District Court Judge Barbara Pearson on Tuesday ordered the three men held without bail saying they are a danger to the alleged victim and to society. Feliz, who has a lengthy criminal record, has pleaded not guilty to trafficking of a person under 18 for sexual servitude, and two counts of aggravated statutory rape of a child.
Williams said that Feliz will likely be indicted as a habitual offender, which could mean a life sentence if convicted in this case.
Angel Alicea, 24, pleaded not guilty to aggravated statutory rape of a child (two counts) and paying for sexual conduct with a child under 18. His brother, Michael Alicea, 18, who has no prior record, pleaded not guilty to rape of a child with force (two counts) and paying for sexual conduct with a child under 18.
Williams provided the judge with police reports, a transcript of the 13-year-old girl’s interview, and testimony from Lowell police detective Jason Burd who identified Feliz as a Latin Kings gang member by his tattoos.
A probable-cause hearing is scheduled for the three defendants for Dec. 29. Judge Pearson did not allow any of the defendants’ requests to be released.