The Bayside couple accused of holding their maid against her will and torturing her appeared in Queens Criminal Court this week for a scheduling hearing. The third suspect still
had not been apprehended.
After setting a plea hearing for April 8, the couple’s Manhattan attorney, Lawrence Fisher, tried to appeal to the judge, Dorothy Chin-Brandt, to set bail for defendant Devanand Lachman.
During the couple’s arraignment, Lachman was held without bail. His wife, Ambar Lachman, who is four months’ pregnant, was released on $50,000 bail. The judge extended Devanand Lachman’s bail waiver to April 22, denying Fisher’s request.
The Lachmans are charged in a Feb. 13 incident in which Devanand Lachman, 32, allegedly proceeded to beat, burn and torture the couple’s 54-year-old house maid until she admitted to stealing items from the couple’s home, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office.
It was unclear whether the maid had actually stolen anything from the Lachmans, though she admitted to it under pressure, the complaint said.
In his two-family home on 217th Street, Devanand Lachman and an unknown accomplice accused the maid of stealing a sum of money and a gold chain, according to the DA’s office. Armed with knives and a firearm, they kept her from attempting to leave, the complaint said.
Devanand Lachman and the unknown accomplice are accused of punching the maid, causing bruising to her face, arms and legs, the DA said. They then apparently used a hand torch to burn parts of her body and her eyebrows until she admitted to stealing, according to the complaint.
Ambar Lachman, 31, then drove a white GMC Arcadia to the maid’s home to search for the missing items, the DA said. She then waited in the car with the maid, while Devanand Lachman and his accomplice searched the home, according to sources at the NYPD.
After reporting the incident to NYPD’s 111th Precinct, the victim was released and treated at a hospital for bruising and burns to her face, arms and legs, the NYPD said. The unknown accomplice was described by the victim as a dark-skinned man between the ages of 30 and 35, 6 feet tall with a medium build.
Police said no more arrests have been made, but that the investigation was ongoing.
Both Lachmans are being charged with kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon, while Devanand was accused of assault, the Queens district attorney said. The most serious charge of assault with a deadly weapon is a Class B Felony, which is punishable by a minimum five-year jail sentence and a maximum of 25 years.
Devanand Lachman was born and raised in Queens, and has a background in business management and finance, according to the couple’s lawyer. Devanand had most recently been working for an auto mechanic that does work for the NYPD. The couple also has a 2-year-old child together.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb
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