A sex-for-money Snapchat agreement nearly turned tragic when four men ambushed a victim with a knife, choked him and robbed him of his belongings in a Weslaco apartment last Thursday.
The incident started on Snapchat, a social media platform, about a month prior to the attack, the male victim told Weslaco police officers, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The victim met Stephanie Navarro, 24, on the social media application and decided to see her at her apartment on the evening of Dec. 22 because Navarro needed pampers and presents for her kids, the victim told officers. Navarro would later say it was to have sex in exchange for money.
Upon reaching her apartment, the victim initially left after seeing a suspicious man and truck outside the apartment but then went inside around 9 p.m. Navarro led the man to her bedroom where he sat on her bed. Navarro told him she needed to check on her children and left the bedroom and coughed after she exited.
After her cough, the victim noted, four men came out of a closet and attacked him. One of the men was later identified as Navarro’s 24-year-old boyfriend, Francisco Martinez Jr., two 16-year old teenagers and a 20-year-old man only identified as Jerson.
The attackers choked the victim until he nearly stopped breathing while one of the 16-year-old teenagers stabbed his leg, according to testimony from Navarro and Martinez shared later with officers.
The victim offered money in exchange for his safety. His iPhone, ID, debit cards, credit cards, Gucci wallet, and cash was taken and the victim was able to flee from the apartment leaving a small trail of blood from the apartment to the stairs.
Officers contacted the victim after he went to the hospital where he told them about the assault and stolen items.
Police conducted a traffic stop just a few hours after the hospital visit. The officer who stopped Martinez and Navarro together with two children sitting unsecured in the back seat also noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
The officer searched the vehicle and found one of the victim’s credit cards under the passenger seat.
Navarro said she implicated her boyfriend, Martinez, in her plan to lure, beat and rob the victim at her apartment with the help of the three other young men, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Jail records do not indicate whether the minors involved in the case were arrested, due to their ages.
Martinez and Navarro were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, credit card/debit card abuse, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Both remain in jail on a combined $210,000 bond for each, according to jail records.