FORT EDWARD — The New York City teen who faces charges for allegedly kidnapping a 12-year-old Hudson Falls girl last fall has a new trial date, new lawyer and a new plea deal offer.
George A. Torres was to stand trial starting April 1, but Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan postponed the trial until April 15 after Torres’ lawyer, Robert Winn, stepped away from the case because of a family medical situation.
Torres was in court Friday with a new lawyer, John Murphy III of Staten Island, as he learned that the Washington County District Attorney’s Office had modified a plea deal offer.
Torres was told prosecutors would accept a plea to the top charge, second-degree kidnapping, with a sentence range between 5 and 15 years. The initial offer was a sentence of between 5 and 25 years.
The offer was not rejected, as Murphy told McKeighan he did not know enough about the case yet to advise his client.
Washington County First Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris said the offer would remain open until an April 4 pre-trial hearing.
“If it (an agreement) is not reached that day, there will be no further discussions to resolve it,” he said.
Torres faces a four-count indictment in connection with the girl’s disappearance last Sept. 26-27.
The girl was eventually found at an apartment in New York City, two days after arranging for Torres to pick her up after school and take her to the city.
Police said she was running away from home and willingly got in Torres’ car, but he was charged with kidnapping because she could not legally consent to going with him because of her age. Torres said the girl told him during social media messaging that she was 17.
Authorities allege Torres, who is a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, had sexual contact with the girl in his Staten Island apartment before learning she was the subject of an “Amber Alert” and her disappearance was generating statewide publicity.
He then took her to the Staten Island Ferry station at her request, where she met a New York City man who was later charged with first-degree rape for having sex with her when she was too young to legally consent.
Torres has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of second-degree kidnapping, sexually motivated felony and tampering with physical evidence and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
Torres is free on bail pending further court action.