MILWAUKEE — A 20-year-old man accused in connection with an abduction that happened in downtown Milwaukee in June of 2017 has reached a plea deal in the case against him.
Grabiel Arias-Martinez was arrested in Kentucky, along with Jose Arevalo-Viera.
In court on Monday, Feb. 11, Arias-Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping/carrying without consent, as party to a crime. Three other charges were dismissed as a result of the plea deal. Sentencing was scheduled for March 14.
Prosecutors said Jose Arevalo-Viera broke through a woman’s car window with a sledgehammer while she was parked near Van Buren and Clybourn in Milwaukee on June 16, 2017. Once Arevalo-Viera was inside of her vehicle, he displayed a box cutter and ordered her to drive to Chicago.
Grabiel Arias-Martinez was following them in a pickup truck.
During the drive, the complaint indicates Arevalo-Viera ordered the victim to pull over where I-94, heading eastbound, curves near the 27th Street exit. There was a wooded area there.
Arevalo-Viera allegedly told the victim if she wanted to live, she would listen to what he said. He ordered her to get her purse and her dog out of the vehicle. Arevalo-Viera then exited the vehicle on the passenger side and pulled the victim through the passenger door as well.
Arevalo-Viera then climbed into the pickup truck being driven by Arias-Martinez and ordered the victim to climb in the back seat as well. Once in the back seat, Arevalo-Viera displayed a three-inch knife with a curved blade and a black and silver handle, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, during the drive, Arevalo-Viera and Arias-Martinez were bickering and Arevalo-Viera told Arias-Martinez, “Get the gun. Get the gun. Get the gun. I’m going to shoot her!”
The criminal complaint states that Arevalo-Viera “slapped and punched” the victim multiple times before sexually assaulting her. The victim told investigators she was yelling as loud as she could — but Arias-Martinez turned up the music and continued driving.
After the assault, the victim was dumped near West Frontage Road and Highway 165 in Kenosha County. The victim told police she walked to several homes in an effort to seek help but no one answered their doors. Eventually, she ended up at a truck stop in Pleasant Prairie — where a truck driver allowed her to use his telephone and she was able to call 911.
During the course of this investigation, law enforcement officers learned that the victim’s vehicle was towed. The vehicle was processed for potential evidence. A fingerprint was lifted from a Ziploc bag that was found within the vehicle. That print was compared and matched the right middle finger of Jose Arevalo-Viera.
The Milwaukee Police Department, working in collaboration with federal law enforcement, located the pickup truck believed to be used in the alleged sexual assault on June 20, 2017 on I-71 as it was approaching the Louisville, Kentucky area.
This, after police released video of the vehicle, and a sketch of one of the suspects.
As law enforcement attempted to stop the vehicle, Arevalo-Viera fled on foot into a wooded area. Following a lengthy search, Arevalo-Viera, who was armed with a knife, was arrested.
An arrest report indicates Arias-Martinez was taken into custody on June 21, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Arevalo-Viera faces seven felony charges. He has a jury trial scheduled to begin on March 11.