COUPLE INDICTED A THIRD TIME ON KIDNAPPING AND ASSAULT CHARGES
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that defendants Destiny Lebron and Gil Iphael have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on kidnapping, assault and other charges for an August attack in Richmond Hill. The defendants, who have two other pending cases, face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on this case.
District Attorney Katz said, “These defendants, who are thankfully off the streets, are accused of a spree of assault, kidnapping and robbery charges for their own financial benefit. Both defendants are in custody and will be held accountable.”
Lebron, 19, of North Portland, Brooklyn, and Iphael, 22, of Copaigue Street, Valley Stream, were re-arrested and arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone on an 14-count indictment charging them with kidnapping in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and two-counts of robbery in the second degree, assault in the second degree and third degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and second degree, two-counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and petit larceny. Justice Vallone ordered the defendants to return to court on November 17, 2022. If convicted on all three indictments, both defendants face a total of up to 75 years in prison.
According to the charges, on August 14, the victim, a 23-year-old-male, went to 91-42 108th Street in response to an online prostitution advertisement. As the victim entered the location, he was directed to wait inside a bedroom. Defendant Lebron entered the room and removed the victim’s shoes and socks. At that time, defendant Iphael entered the room, threatened the victim and repeatedly punched the victim in the face, head and body. The defendants then applied a numbing agent to the victims’ toe, demanded money from the victim and attempted to make transfers from his CASH APP account. When the victim refused, defendant Iphael used a tool and began to cut the victim’s toe and threatened to cut it off if the victim did not comply. The victim eventually complied.
Furthermore, defendant Iphael took the victim’s car keys and gave them to defendant Lebron who removed the victims’ wallet from the car. From the wallet, the defendants took the victim’s identification and several licenses along with his debit and credit cards. They demanded that the victim give them his PIN# or face further harm. After receiving the victim’s PIN#, defendant Iphael left the room and went to a nearby deli and made a withdrawal from a cash machine. When he returned, he gave the card and PIN# to defendant Lebron who also made a cash withdrawal. The defendants then forced the victim to make a recording stating that he was at the location to engage in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and then threatened to post the video on the internet if he reported the incident to the police. Before defendant Iphael released the victim, he returned some of his items and further threatened to harm his family if he reported the incident to the police.
The victim went to a nearby urgent care facility where he received eight stitches to his toe and he immediately called the police.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Liam O’Hara of the New York City Police Department’s Human Trafficking Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Duplessis, Lieutenant Amy Capogna, Captain Thomas Milano and under the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Carlos Ortiz.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Greenberg of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Melton, Bureau Chief and Tara DiGregorio, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz asks that if anyone has any information relevant to this investigation, they report it to the New York City Police Department’s Human Trafficking Squad at (212) 694-3031.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.