City couple charged with sexual abuse

Lami VieuWESTFIELD – Two city residents who allegedly abused the trust of a 14-year-old girl and are accused of using her, among other purposes, to create pornography, were held in lieu of high bail at their arraignment in Westfield District Court yesterday.
Nathaniel Justin Lami, 31, and Leonne Anne Vieu, 22, both of Colonial Pine Acres, 50 Southampton Road, appeared for arraignment before Judge Jacklyn M. Connly.
Both were charged, by city police, with statutory aggravated rape of a child, lascivious posing or exhibiting of a child in the nude, distribution of a live performance of obscene matter, indecent assault and battery on a child 14 years-of-age or older and reckless endangerment to a child.
Lami was also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, distribution of obscene matter and possession of child pornography.
Assistant District Attorney Mary D. Partyka told the court that the 14-year-old victim had known Vieu as a neighbor when she was a fifth grader and also knew Lami and, she said, “considered him to be a big brother figure.”
Partyka said that the girl had spent the April, 2013, school vacation living in Lami’s basement bedroom he shared with Vieu in his mother’s apartment at Colonial Pine acres and the girl subsequently made a detailed statement to city police about what had happened there.
Det. Daniel Gustafson investigated the girl’s statement and secured a warrant which was executed Monday. A variety of evidence which supported her allegations was seized.
Among the evidence found, Partyka said, was an agreement which the girl had described as a “sex slave contract.” The girl said she had been told to sign the document agreeing “not to tell” what the couple had been doing with her.
Partyka said that, while the girl was staying with Lami, he used an instrument the girl described as a scalpel to cut her back and then licked the blood oozing from the wounds.
She said that, while the girl was staying with him, Lami repeatedly raped her orally, digitally and with his penis. She also said that, on at least one occasion, Vieu also penetrated the girl digitally.
She said that Lami showed the girl a video on his phone showing her performing oral sex upon him and still images of her and Vieu, both with their breasts bared.
Partyka described how Lami instructed Vieu to choose an ensemble for the girl before he posed the duo and made images of the girl, dressed in short shorts and a halter, with bare breasts kissing Vieu who was also bare chested as she fondled the girl’s breasts and other private parts.
Partyka said that the duo also told the girl to smoke “weed” with them although the girl said she had never before smoked marijuana.
Partyka asked Connly to set bail for Lami at $75,000 and for Vieu at $25,000 saying that the case has already been accepted in superior court. Some of the charges faced by the defendants may not be adjudicated in district court but must be heard in superior court which has authority to impose stiffer sentences.
Vieu was represented, for the bail hearing only, by attorney Melissa Bodanza who said that her client believed that the victim had agreed to the sexual acts and didn’t realize that she hadn’t wanted to participate.
She said that her client also did not know that Lami had sexual encounters with the girl without her.
She asked that the woman be released on her personal recognizance with conditions.
Attorney Ed Marasi represented Lami, at the hearing only, and asked that his client, who he described as a self employed carpenter, be fitted with a GPS device and released so that he could continue to support himself.
Partyka said that “No wages (were) recorded with regard to his alleged business.”
Connly set bail at $25,000 for Lami and $5,000 for Vieu pending June 6 hearings.
She also ordered that both defendants stay away from and have no contact with the victim and also ordered that, if Lami is released on bail, “he be transported to Westfield to install (a) GPS (device).”
Westfield Police Capt. Michael McCabe called the situation the victim described “bizarre” and said “The police department is currently investigating the possibility that there are other victims, based on the evidence uncovered at the crime scene.”
He said “Because of the type of crime, I doubt this is a first time offense” and said that other victims may come forward with accounts of similar crimes which he called “particularly heinous.”
He said “the same scenario plays out over and over” in which, he said, “an older male ingratiates himself with the younger female and once he gains the trust of the younger female they explore sexual boundaries to see how far they can go.”

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