Victor Pena, 38, sobbed openly in court at his arraignment on a kidnapping charge on Wednesday, as a clinician told the judge he exhibited signs of psychosis and bizarre behavior that necessitated further evaluation.
“He complained that he’s hearing voices,” psychologist Jodie Shapiro told Judge Catherine K. Byrne. “He was very difficult to redirect. He began to pray, asking for forgiveness.” Shapiro said his behavior was "bizarre" and possibly an exaggeration.
Pena has a troubling history of violence towards women. The Boston Globe reports that one ex-girlfriend accused him of sexual assault in an application for a restraining order filed in 2004. In 2008, another woman took out a restraining order against him, saying she feared for her own life and her daughter's, and that when she'd tried to leave him he grabbed her by the neck. In 2013, a different woman told a court that Pena "broke her car window to take money, threatened to poison her dogs, and sent her messages calling her a pig, a lowlife, and a cow, and saying he didn’t know why she was still alive."
Pena was arrested on Tuesday after an investigation utilizing video surveillance, cell phone records, and the coordination of Massachusetts law enforcement agencies led authorities to his Charlestown apartment. There they found a distraught Ambrose who was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for evaluation. She is now at home with her family in Wenham, MA.
“All the little girls around here have been scared of him,” said 42-year-old Katrina McDonald.
Pena is due back in court on February 11th.