Four charged in death at
U.S. alcohol aversion program

June 11, 1998

Los Angeles (Reuters) -- Four workers at a clinic have been charged with the death of a man they allegedly tried to cure of alcoholism by tying him to a chair and forcing drink down his throat, officials said on Wednesday.

Officials said Enrique Bravo, 34, died during the apparent aversion therapy session at an unlicensed clinic in North Hollywood May 25.

Another man undergoing the same form of therapy at the same time survived the ordeal, a police spokesman said.

The four defendants, Alberto Saguache, 38, Amando Sakaqil, 29, Dante Barrera, 32, and Jose Rodriguez, 45, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and false imprisonment in the death of Bravo, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandy Gibbons said.

The four, who are being held in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail, are due to appear at a preliminary court hearing on Thursday.

Police refused to discuss the case in detail, but Deputy District Attorney Craig Renetzky, told the Los Angeles Times: "These defendants were not going to let these guys leave and were feeding them nothing but alcohol. The idea was that the guy would later hate alcohol so much he wouldn't drink any more."

Renetzky, who could not be contacted on Wednesday, told the Times the suspects were either workers or volunteers at the clinic, named Grupo Liberacion y Fortaleza (Liberation and Strength Group), some of whom had been through the same programme.

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