LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A state appeals court panel has upheld a man’s conviction for kidnapping a 14-year-old boy from a San Fernando Valley street and sexually assaulting him in 2001.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing jurors to hear about pornographic images recovered from a USB thumb drive found in a closet in the Hollywood apartment that defendant Mirek Voyt shared with his husband at the time of his 2017 arrest, as well as physical evidence found in the residence.
The justices found that the images — which included nine photographs of fully naked young men — “could not have made a difference in the case in light of the strong additional evidence of guilt,” including Voyt’s DNA, the location of his residence near where the teen was kidnapped and the statements the teen made about the ordeal.
Voyt was convicted in January 2018 of two felony counts — kidnapping to commit oral copulation and/or sodomy and forcible oral copulation, and jurors found true allegations that he had personally used a firearm and kidnapped, tied and bound the victim.
Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky sentenced Voyt to 35 years to life in state prison the following month, saying the crime destroyed the life of the victim, who was convicted five years later of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Voyt stole his innocence … his chance to become a productive member of society,” the judge said. “Because of this, he (the victim) went off the rails. He could have been a doctor. … We’ll never know.”
Voyt was arrested Feb. 14, 2017, after being linked through DNA evidence to the June 22, 2001, attack on the teen, who was walking with another boy near the intersection of Chase Street and Vanalden Avenue in Northridge about 9:45 a.m. when confronted by the handgun-wielding abductor. The other boy managed to flee.
Voyt lived within a short distance of the intersection where the abduction occurred, and investigators said he took the boy to his apartment after abducting him and blindfolding him.
At the time of his arrest, Voyt working in a management position for a grocery store chain.
“This was a really tragic case,” the judge said during the sentencing hearing. “Mr. Voyt thought he got away with it. But due to the hard work and perseverance of the detectives, justice has been served.”