3 sentenced to 30 years for torture of Tracy teen

Fitness club recalls helping tortured Tracy teen
December 6, 2010 10:16:52 AM PST
Three adults who admitted to holding captive and torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a Central California home for more than a year are each headed to prison for at least 30 years.

Michael Schumacher, 36, his wife Kelly Lau, 32, and the teen's legal guardian Caren Ramirez, 45, learned their fate Monday during their sentencing in San Joaquin County Superior Court after each pleaded guilty in October to more than a dozen felonies.

After hearing a statement from the victim's aunt, Judge Terrence Van Oss handed down the lengthy sentences: 34 years for Ramirez, 33 years for Lau and 30 years for Schumacher.

The victim, Kyle Ramirez, chose not to speak during the hearing. Prosecutors said the teenager was beaten, burned and starved at the Tracy home of Schumacher and Lau. He managed to escape in December 2008 and showed up at a nearby fitness center covered in soot and bruises, looking emaciated and wearing a chain around his ankle.

A fourth defendant, Anthony Waiters, 31, the couple's next-door neighbor, was convicted at trial last month. He faces life in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 18.

Kyle Ramirez, now 18, took the witness stand to recount the abuse during Waiters' trial. He testified that he fled the home after hearing Schumacher and Waiters saying they were going to "chop me up and throw me in the delta."

On Monday, the victim's maternal aunt, Sydney Perry, directly addressed Schumacher, Lau and Ramirez in an emotional statement.

"My family waited two years for this day to face you sadistic, demented monsters who tortured and abused Kyle every day. Every day," Perry said. "And where you're going, you're going to be with monsters just like you."


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