By SARAH ALLAM AND ALEXANDRA STEVENS
Testimony continued on Tuesday in the case of the alleged kidnap and torture of a woman and her baby, with the prosecution presenting photos of the baby’s injuries that brought most of the courtroom to tears.
The victim, 30-year-old Angie Martinez, took to the witness stand in the trial against her ex-boyfriend Yohannes Anglin, 36. Martinez struggled to answer questions about the graphic images of her child’s wounds. The prosecution’s photos showed injuries from being hit and duct taped; striations on the baby’s feet and a stroller found at the scene indicate the child had been duct-taped to the stroller.
Another photo showed a bald spot on the baby’s head that Martinez said came from Anglin ripping the toddler’s hair out. According to the indictment, both victims were forced to urinate in bottles, and Martinez was banned from changing her child’s diaper.
The last picture presented by the prosecution showed open sores on the baby’s buttocks, at which point Martinez began to gag, and the jury was asked to leave the courtroom. After the jurors exited the room, Martinez was given a trashcan, and a court officer held back her hair as she vomited.
Martinez claims that she is unable to remember large periods of her captivity, but did say she was raped repeatedly, once shortly before the police arrived. According to medical records presented by Judge John Ingram, Martinez is suffering from PTSD and shock. Martinez said that Anglin played the radio while he abused her, and would muffle any screams with a pillow. She also said that Anglin would always apologize to Martinez and her baby after abusing them, but would continue the abuse afterwards.
Martinez said she first met Anglin while visiting her mother’s home in Bushwick when he approached her on the street and gave her his phone number. Martinez said she was initially uninterested, and intentionally gave Anglin an incorrect phone number. About a week later, Martinez visited her mother again to find Anglin standing outside of her building. They exchanged information again, this time Martinez giving her his real cell phone number. Anglin and Martinez met up again, beginning a relationship that consisted only of meeting and spending time at Martinez’s mothers’ house. When Anglin eventually asked Martinez and her then two-year-old daughter to move in to his East New York house, she said yes.
“He was too good to be true,” Martinez said during her cross-examination. “I thought that he wanted to be by my side. I thought he cared.”
Anglin introduced himself to Martinez as “Dante”; Martinez did not know his real name until his arrest. Though her family knew about the move, Martinez did not tell any of her friends, and was not allowed any contact with the outside world once inside his East New York home. According to Martinez’s testimony, Anglin threatened to kill Martinez and her family if she attempted to contact anyone.
“I had no choice,” Martinez said about her initial decision to stay in the apartment. “I went with my instinct, and my instinct was to protect my daughter, and have her by my side at all times.”
Martinez and her baby were allegedly kept in Anglin’s three-story house from February 23 to May 29 of 2012, in a basement described as “filthy” by Sergeant Colleen Price, one of the officers on the scene. Officer Brendan Symansky, the first witness on the stand Tuesday, collected evidence at Anglin’s home that included human hair, two knives, two rolls of duct tape, and dirty bedding.
An unidentified court officer described the trial as the “most horrific case I’ve seen in over ten years.”