NEW YORK — Witnesses in the case against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman told authorities the drug lord had sex with young girls he called “vitamins” that gave him “life,” according to court documents unsealed late Friday.
The allegation comes days before a federal jury begins deliberations on Monday in Guzman’s high-profile drug conspiracy trial in US District Court in Brooklyn.
A cooperating witness who testified at trial told investigators that around 2007 he helped Guzman drug girls as young as 13 by placing a “powdery substance” in their drinks before the defendant had sex with them, according to the documents.
Eduardo Balarezo, one of Guzman’s attorneys, said his client denies the “extremely salacious” allegations that “lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial.”
“It is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations,” Balarezo said in a statement, declining further comment.
The documents were ordered unsealed by US District Judge Brian Cogan at the request of The New York Times and Vice News.
The documents had been sealed because prosecutors had convinced the court that the allegations were “irrelevant” to the drug conspiracy charges against Guzman.
The cooperating witness, who lived with Guzman, told investigators that an associate of El Chapo known as “Commadre Maria” regularly sent the defendant photos of girls as young as 13, the documents said.
For about $5,000, the girl of Guzman’s choice was delivered to one of El Chapo’s ranches in his home state of Sinaloa.
The witness told investigators that Guzman called “the youngest of the girls his ‘vitamins’ because he believed that sexual activity with young girls gave him ‘life,'” according to the document.
The document said other government witnesses corroborated the allegations.
The cooperating witness told investigators that he also had sex with minors without drugging them.
Guzman, 61, faces 10 federal counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, international distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs, and use of firearms. He has pleaded not guilty.
He could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty on the top charge of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.