Basalt man arrested for allegedly keeping wife prisoner |

Basalt man arrested for allegedly keeping wife prisoner

A 66-year-old Basalt man was arrested last week and charged with keeping his common law wife a virtual prisoner, stealing her money and abusing her two children, according court documents.

Jose Guadalupe Valdovinos Cardenas was arrested May 31 and charged with human trafficking for involuntary servitude, robbery and two counts of child abuse — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault, false imprisonment, harassment, criminal mischief, obstruction of telephone service and domestic violence, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Eagle County District Court.

“Cardenas has for seven years knowingly isolated, enticed and coerced through threat of serious harm (his common law wife) to perform labor or services while withholding her payment for the performed labor,” the affidavit states. “Cardenas has not allowed (the woman access) to her earned money and used threats of bodily injury and other harm, including psychological, financial and reputation harm, and used (the woman’s) immigration status to obtain labor from (her).”

Cardenas also allegedly took and broke phones belonging to the woman, prevented her from communicating with a family member and assaulted her, causing injuries. He also allegedly abused both the woman’s teenage son — including lifting him up by the neck, whipping him with a belt and verbally berating him — and the woman’s younger daughter, according to the affidavit.

It was not clear Thursday whether Cardenas remained in jail in Eagle County or whether he’d been released on bond. Court records indicate his next court appearance is in July.

A phone message left for a spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office was not returned Thursday. A message left for Cardenas’ Glenwood Springs-based attorney also was not returned Thursday.



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