Three men and a woman were charged Wednesday with the kidnapping of an Irvine woman to extort money from her family.
Ezra Schley, 71, and Yang “Rose” Wang, 37, both of Huntington Beach, Reha Soylular, 54, of Newport Beach, and George Armando Medrano, 34, of Norco, are charged with aggravated kidnapping for ransom, burglary and attempted extortion, all felonies.
Medrano was additionally charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana for sale and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
Not guilty pleas were entered by Schley and Medrano at their arraignment in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana. They were ordered to return to court on Sept. 12 for a pretrial hearing at the Harbor Justice Center.
The status of their co-defendants was not immediately clear.
The four are being held in lieu of $1 million bail and face a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum sentence of life behind bars if convicted on all charges.
The four allegedly kidnapped the victim, identified as Jane Doe, from her apartment last Wednesday and then demanded a large sum of money from her husband and mother-in-law for her safe return, according to Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The defendants sent the victim’s family photos of her through an online app, Edds alleged. The victim was “previously acquainted” with at least one of the four, she said, but did not elaborate on why the woman was targeted in what was characterized as an “isolated incident.”
The woman was rescued by Irvine police after her mother-in-law called to request a welfare check, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Diligent police work by the Irvine Police Department helped locate this victim before further trauma could be inflicted on her and her loved ones,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
Messages left with Irvine police were not immediately returned.
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