N.J. man accused of kidnapping and holding a woman against her will for 'nearly a year'
02/21/2023 12:46 pm PST
TRENTON, N.J. (TCD) -- A 57-year-old man was recently arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman he met in New Mexico and holding her hostage for months.
According to a news release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, in February 2022, the female victim met James Parrillo Jr., who she knew as "Brett Parker," at a gas station in New Mexico, and she agreed to give him a ride to Arizona.
The victim and Parrillo were reportedly in a consensual relationship for about a month before he assaulted her while they were in California. The Attorney General’s Office said the victim told authorities she felt like she couldn’t leave, and Parrillo allegedly confiscated the victim’s phone and her debit cards. He also reportedly "isolated her from her family."
In December 2022, Parrillo and the victim allegedly made their way to New Jersey.
The woman and Parrillo reportedly shared a rented room in a home with several others in Bass River Township for about two weeks. On Feb. 7, Parrillo allegedly "began beating and choking" the victim during a dispute, and he stopped when he saw they weren’t alone in the residence. The victim was reportedly able to escape to a nearby gas station and call for help.
The Attorney General’s Office said Parrillo was arrested, and he faces charges of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation and aggravated assault, third-degree criminal restraint, and fourth-degree obstruction because he refused to provide a DNA sample.
Based on the information provided by the victim, along with social media and online evidence, authorities reportedly believe Parrillo "may have engaged in similar predatory conduct with individuals in other states and that public safety demands he not be released."
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the first-degree kidnapping charge is punishable by 15 to 30 years in state prison, and the second-degree charges are punishable by a sentence of five to 10 years. The third-degree charges reportedly carry a sentence of three to five years, while the fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.
In a statement, New Mexico Attorney General Matthew Platkin said, "This is a deeply disturbing case in which the defendant allegedly held a woman against her will for nearly a year, while traveling with her throughout the country, before ending up here in New Jersey where she was able to escape."
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan added, "The allegations of kidnapping and abuse at the hands of the defendant represent a year-long nightmare endured by the victim that spanned several states across the country ultimately coming to an end here in New Jersey."
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