Four Behind Brutal Torture of 2 U of R Students In Court One Final Time

Four Behind Brutal Torture of 2 U of R Students In Court One Final Time

Overview

By Seth Voorhees

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For two University of Rochester students, who were both kidnapped, robbed, tortured and sexually assaulted in Dec. 2015, the house on Harvest Street in Rochester was a house of horrors.

“It’s certainly up there on the brutality level,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz, the prosecutor.

The four people convicted in this harrowing ordeal, details of which gripped the community, were sentenced Wednesday.

The two victims were beaten repeatedly and one of them shot during a two-day period last December on Harvest Street. The kidnappers believed the students had robbed a drug dealer.

Lydell Strickland smiled and chuckled as he was handed the maximum sentence, consecutive 25-year to life sentences for each victim. Saying he could find no redeeming value in Strickland, Judge Alex Renzi gave him 155 years to life in state prison.

Renzi said if SWAT teams had not stormed the house, he believes the victims would have been dead.

The sentence was less for those who played lesser roles in the kidnapping and torture. David Alcaraz-Ubiles was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison. Inalia Rolldan and Ruth Lora and were each sentenced to seven years in prison.

“I don’t think there was anybody who disagreed with the fact that my client didn’t hit anybody, didn’t torture anybody, didn’t go into any of the rooms where the individuals were being held,” said Frank Ciardi, the attorney for Alcarez-Ubiles.

The sentence for Rolldan and Lora, both 20, was much less than what prosecutors hoped for. Renzi told them, “You made a life choice. It was a poor life choice, and now you’re paying the consequences for your actions.”

The victims in this crime did not speak at sentencing. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz says they are now trying to move on.

“Every time there’s another court appearance or proceeding, it’s just a constant reminder of what took place last December.” Schwartz said.

Despite Strickland’s demeanor, through his attorney he maintained his innocence, and does plan to appeal both the conviction and the 155-year sentence.