COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The landlord of a South Side apartment building has been charged with abusing two "mentally handicapped" tenants, forcing them to get second jobs and put in overtime while keeping their paychecks, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Roy Estivez, 28, of Calumet City, is accused of beating the two tenants after one of them lost a job, said Assistant State's Attorney Mary Anna Planey.
Estivez used an electrical cord as a whip and burned their faces with a hot knife, Planey said. To inflict more pain, the landlord would allegedly sometimes pour hydrogen peroxide onto open wounds.
The landlord also allegedly raped one of the tenants with a power tool, prosecutors said.
One of the victims was described by police as a 22-year-old man.
After Estivez rented out an apartment in the 8700 block of South Baltimore Avenue to the victims, he "conned them" into turning their paychecks directly over to him, according to prosecutors. He then allegedly threatened and beat them to take on second and third jobs and work overtime.
He often denied them food, prosecutors said, telling them to find something to eat at their jobs.
The victims were afraid to leave because Estivez told them he was "mobbed up" and threatened to kill them and harm their families, prosecutors said.
After a boss of one of the victims spotted wounds on the employee, that victim was taken to a hospital and treated for burns.
Estivez is charged in the "first ever" labor trafficking case, according to the Cook County State's Office. He was arrested after an employer noticed visible injuries on one of the alleged victims.
The torture, Planey said, started on Aug. 19 and continued through Oct. 20 .