St. Thomas Vacation Turns to Nightmare as Suspect Kidnaps Couple, Rapes Female During Hourslong Ordeal

A Texas couple's vacation turns horrific as they are kidnapped, forced to buy marijuana and alcohol, and subjected to rape under threat

  • Janeka Simon
  • June 12, 2024
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Mugshot of Richard Albert. By. THE VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT

ST. THOMAS — A man who reportedly forced a visiting couple to have sex and fund his marijuana purchases before raping the woman is now facing felony charges of assault, kidnapping and rape.‌

According to court documents, last Wednesday a couple visiting from Texas was reportedly on Lindbergh Bay beach when a man approached them, between about 8 and 9 p.m. He was reportedly dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask.‌

With the outline of what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, the man – later identified as Richard Albert – reportedly asked the couple why they were not having sex. He is said to have forced them to do exactly that, but stopped them as he reportedly did not enjoy what he saw. Police say he then relieved them of their mobile phone, taking possession of the device.

The couple was then forced to leave the beach with Albert, who removed his ski mask before they got into his vehicle and drove off in search of marijuana. They were reportedly made to stop at a local bank to get cash for their captor.

After the bank, Albert reportedly directed the couple to a location filled with abandoned buildings, where he procured the marijuana. At a nearby service station, they were forced to purchase alcoholic beverages.‌

The couple said that the man pulled the gun out of his waistband at that point, “showing them that he was serious but still trying to insist that he was not forcing them,” according to police. The trio then made their way back to the beach, where Albert reportedly spent some time smoking and drinking with his captives, who told police they tried to make him comfortable in the hopes that he would eventually leave.‌

Instead, Albert began to express the desire to have sex with the woman, ultimately pulling her away and leaving her boyfriend stranded on the beach with no working cell phone. He reportedly took the woman to an area with derelict vehicles and empty containers, and asked her to have sex with him. Police say that Albert still kept insisting that he was not forcing the woman to do anything, but maintained the implicit threat presented by the gun he was carrying. After having sex with the woman, he reportedly dropped her back to the beach, took her phone number, and ordered her to respond to his texts, otherwise he would “find her,” according to documents before the court.

The couple described Albert to police, as well as the vehicle he drove – a dark four door compact SUV or van with tinted windows. The gun in his possession was black and appeared to be a Glock. During his conversation with his captors, Albert reportedly told them that he was a carpenter who did wedding decorations for wealthy clients, and began showing them photos of his work on his phone. The couple also told police that he showed them pictures of his apparent girlfriend and a photo of a child. They provided police with a telephone number from which Albert had begun texting the woman, and based on the information the couple had given them, officers were able to make an identification.

On Monday, police tracked Albert down to the parking lot of the Crown Bay Marina, where –as described–he was behind the wheel of a gray Acura MDX. Upon being questioned about the reported incident, Albert admitted to police that he did come across the couple that night on the beach, and admitted to speaking to them about having sex. He confirmed the sequence of events as recounted by the couple, but reportedly stopped short of admitting that the visitors were acting under duress.

He told police that he was interested in a relationship with the Texan woman, but instead, Albert was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, unlawful sexual contact, false imprisonment and kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, robbery, or rape, and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.‌

In court on Tuesday, Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull issued a pre-trial release order for Albert, the details of which were not made public as of press time. According to the information available on the public court docket, his mother has agreed to serve as Albert’s third-party custodian while he awaits trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 28.

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