(Billings, MT) — A Roberts, Montana man accused of kidnapping a woman in Wyoming and holding her at his residence until she escaped appeared today in federal court on a kidnapping charge, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Adolfo Vargas Lepe, 59, had an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging him with kidnapping. If convicted of the most serious crime, Lepe faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Lepe was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that from April to May 29, Lepe kidnapped a woman from a residence in Lander, Wyoming, and took her to his residence in Roberts, where the victim was not free to leave. Lepe is accused of repeatedly assaulting and mentally abusing the victim. The victim escaped on May 29 and called 911 for help.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno B. Baucus is prosecuting the case. The FBI, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Billings Police Department and Lander, Wyoming, Police Department conducted the investigation.