For Immediate Release - March 23, 2012

Two Salem Men Plead Guilty to Aggravated Rape

Luis Arias, 22 and Justin Louf, 21, both of Salem, pleaded guilty to aggravated rape today in Salem Superior Court.  On February 15, 2008, Arias and Louf and two other men offered a 17 year-old Salem girl a ride home.  Instead they took her to one man’s apartment and collectively raped her.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Greg Friedholm recommended that Arias be sentenced to seven to nine years in state prison; Judge John Lu sentenced him to 4.5 to 5 years in state prison.  Arias was represented by Attorney John J. Burke.

ADA Friedholm recommended that Louf be sentenced to five to seven years in state prison; Judge Lu sentenced him to 3.75 to 4.25 years in state prison.  Louf was represented by Attorney James R. Tewhey.

Jury selection for the trial had begun on Monday for Arias, Louf and a third co-defendant, Rafael Nina Brito.  The selection was stalled as a result of a juror, Jonathan Ngarambe, 23, 10 First Street, Salem, allegedly lying to Judge Lu about knowing one of the defendants.  Ngarambe was arraigned yesterday in Salem District Court on witness intimidation charges (the witness intimidation statute – MGL Chapter 268, section 13B/A – covers misleading or lying to a judge.)

Nina Brito’s trial will resume on Monday.  He is represented by William Martin.  A fourth co-defendant, Harold Baltodano, 22, of Lynn is scheduled for trial assignment in early April.