Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman drugged and raped girls as young as 13, calling them his "vitamins" because he thought they gave him energy, a former secretary claims in newly unsealed documents in the U.S. case against the notorious kingpin.
The papers were unsealed late Friday at the request of The New York Times and Vice News. One of Guzman's lawyers said on Saturday that his client denies the allegations.
Alex Cifuentes Villa, one of Guzman's former secretaries, said that in the late 2000s in Mexico a woman known as “Comadre Maria” would send Guzman photos of girls as young as 13 years old in order for him to pick and choose which people he’d like to have sex with; Cifuentes added that the girls would be brought to the mountains for $5,000, and he, Guzman and others would rape them, according to the New York Times.
A. Eduardo Balarezo, Guzman’s lawyer, said in a statement quoted by the Times that such claims “lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial. … It is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations.”
A jury at Guzman's drug-trafficking trial in New York is due to begin deliberating on Monday.
A federal judge in Brooklyn is set to give instructions to jurors in the morning before asking them to begin deciding the verdict for Guzman, who faces life in prison if convicted.
"This trial gave the American public tremendous insight into how these powerful drug trafficking cartels operate," Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said, according to CNN.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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