Court appearance delayed for deaf men accused of rape, kidnapping

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- With no sign language interpreter available, the first appearance for two deaf men accused in a rape and kidnapping case was delayed for a day.

Joshua Horne, 25, and Josua Del Villar, 24, were arrested over the weekend in their Nashville, N.C., and Raleigh homes.

The men are charged in connection with the sexual assault of a former deaf school classmate that allegedly took place earlier this month.

Appearing before Judge David Hasty on Monday, the men used sign language to indicate they could go through with the first appearance. Del Villar passed several notes to Hasty, writing that he was already being represented by a public defender for another charge related to the case.

Hasty asked the District Attorney's Office for their recommendation in proceeding with the first appearance. To ensure the rights of the accused, the D.A.'s office requested the hearing be delayed to Tuesday when a sign language interpreter would be available.

Authorities have charged Horne with first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping. Del Villar faces second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, and felony hit and run charges.

The two also face conspiracy and common law robbery charges.

Investigators said on the evening of April 7, the victim made plans to go out with the pair, and told her family she'd be back by a certain time. When she found out the pair was taking her to Raleigh, she objected, authorities said. Somewhere between Cumberland and Wake Counties, investigators believe the young woman was raped in the vehicle, then taken back to her home where she fell out of the car. That's when investigators said Del Villar ran over her.

When the woman did not return home at the expected time, her family called authorities. Those family members were also home in the wee hours of April 8 when the victim returned home.

The woman was initially flown to UNC for her injuries, but returned to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where she remained hospitalized as recently as Friday. Her injuries include a number of broken bones, authorities said.

Family speaks out

In attendance to the courthouse Monday was Del Villar's mother, father, and brother. They traveled from Raleigh to better understand the charges, they said.

Manny Del Villar said authorities picked his brother and his car up from their Raleigh home on Saturday evening, but the family thought Josua faced assault with a deadly weapon charges for the running the victim over in front of her home.

He said they learned of the other charges when they saw a story about the arrest on the news.

"Obviously, I wasn't there," said Manny Del Villar. "I don't know everything that happened, so I can't...but what I can tell you is that rape part, kidnapping part, that robbery part...that's not true."
Del Villar said the three were friends when they graduated several years ago from the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson.

He said Horne's family told him Horne and the victim used to date, and the friends communicated via text and video conference. He also said the three had planned an outing on the evening of April 7.

While authorities said the kidnapping charges stem from the fact that the victim told the pair she did not want to go to Raleigh, Del Villar said the fact that Horne and his brother took her back to her home makes him question the charges.

"How does one go to where she lives and then drop her off again, you know?" he asked. What kind of kidnapping is that, you know?"

Del Villar said he thought whatever happened during the outing was consensual given the friends' histories.

"I just want to let people there are two sides to the story," he said.

ABC11 was unable to contact the victims' family on Monday.

Horne and Del Villar will reappear in court on Tuesday morning.

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