Brenda Ayala is arraigned in Lowell District Court. SUN/LISA REDMOND
Brenda Ayala is arraigned in Lowell District Court. SUN/LISA REDMOND

LOWELL -- A would-be john who met a prostitute named "Diamond" online and arranged for a sexual rendezvous in Lowell got more than what he expected with a knife to his throat and the theft of his money.

Lowell police say that on March 20, a 25-year-old North Andover man told police that he made contact via Backpage.com with a woman who called herself "Diamond." The woman described herself as a sexy professional Latina and provided photos. The ad provided a phone number to call for sex for pay.

The alleged victim made contact with Diamond and he arranged to pay $160 for sex. They agreed on a Maude Street address in Lowell for their "date."

Upon arriving at the Maude Street home, the alleged victim was led up three flights of stairs and told to sit on the couch in the living room while she went into the kitchen to make a phone call.

Instead of the lovely Latina returning, the victim told police a hostile Hispanic man walked into the room, put a knife to the victim's throat and told him to hand over all his money. After the victim handed over $160 in cash, he was told to leave. The victim ran out of the apartment and called police.

When asked if Diamond saw the robbery, the victim told police she was "right there watching it."

Police then transported the victim to the Maude Street home where he pointed out the door he entered and the stairs he walked up to reach the apartment. When officers went to the top floor, they saw a surveillance camera on the wall near the apartment door.

When police tried to speak to the residents of the apartment, the residents refused.

Police then called the number the victim used and spoke to a woman, who negotiated a price of $150. The woman then asked for the officer's cell phone number so she could text the address, but when the officer said he didn't have a cell phone she became agitated and hung up.

When police checked the number the victim used, it came back to Brenda Ayala with a driver's license photo that matched Diamond, police said. The victim identified Ayala from a photo array, but could not identify the man with the knife, documents state.

In Lowell District Court on Monday, Ayala, 28, who has a pending assault case, was ordered held on $1,500 cash bail after pleading not guilty to a charge of armed robbery. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for April 28.

Police have also listed as suspects in the case: Jose Ingalls, 28, and Hector Rivera, 27, both of Lowell, according to court documents.

Judge Ellen Caulo denied a prosecutor's motion to revoke Ayala's bail on a pending case of assault with a dangerous weapon in which prosecutors allege that last May a Facebook feud between Ayala and the alleged victim turned ugly when Ayala allegedly broke into a home armed with a knife and a gun.

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