Plastic surgeon accused of torture enters plea
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The lawyer representing a South Florida plastic surgeon accused of kidnapping and torturing his ex-girlfriend said his client is not the one to blame for his alleged crimes.
Dr. Orlando Llorente was supposed to appear at a bond hearing Tuesday morning, but an unspecified issue with the Department of Corrections left him in jail at a West Miami-Dade facility. Laura Llorente, the suspect's wife, hung her head and hid her face, waiting in the courtroom while her husband stayed behind bars.
Llorente has remained in prison since May 8 and stands accused of multiple charges brought forth by former girlfriend Leanne Sauma. Marcos Beaton, Llorente's defense attorney, filed a 10-page plea with the court requesting a reasonable bond for his client, citing Sauma's prior history of mental illness.
The slew of charges Llorente faces stem from an April 21 incident in which former girlfriend Leanne Sauma alleges he held her captive inside an apartment in a Brickell high-rise. According to the police report, Llorente unleashed on Sauma over a Facebook post she wrote. "What he did was grab her head, stick her [head] into the toilet, and afterwards into the tub, stuffed a piece of rag down her mouth, causing her to almost lose consciousness," said Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes. "Now, this torturing lasted between 12 and 16 hours." Llorente's ex-girlfriend said that during that time she was cut off from any communication with the outside world.
In a May 8 bond hearing, Beaton fought back against Sauma's accusations. "I don't see anything within the narrative that suggests that Dr. Llorente prevented the alleged victim from leaving, either by threat or force or by implication," he said.
When Llorente finally let Sauma free and took her to a CVS Pharmacy, he was coaching her on how to explain her injuries and then discovered she was recording him on her iPhone. Sauma said that's when Llorente took off and she called the police.
Llorente's judge denied him bond over the kidnapping charge, but his attorney claimed in the written plea that Sauma has a background of mental illness that Miami Police ignored. The plea contends, "Indeed, she has been deemed to be a danger to herself or others, under Florida's Baker Act statute. At least twice she has been Baker Acted, at least twice in the last six months." One of those times was detailed by a Pinecrest Police report in January, when Llorente tried to end their relationship.
Beaton also said Sauma was not held captive on April 21. Instead, he said, Sauma repeatedly harassed Llorente's wife with calls and texts. Laura Llorente appeared in court Tuesday to defend her husband's honor, while he tries to fight his way out of jail.
A judge rescheduled Llorente's bond hearing for May 24 at 1 p.m., which means he will have to spend nearly two more weeks in jail before he has any hope of being released.
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