LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Three people have been formally charged with kidnapping Halloween: Resurrection (2002) actress Daisy McCrackin and actor Joseph Capone, holding one naked in a bathtub for 30 hours while demanding the other pay a US$10,000 (S$13,650) ransom.
Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal were charged with 17 felony counts, including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem and conspiracy and possession for sale of methamphetamine, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed on Tuesday (July 3) .
Prosecutors say the three of them travelled to McCrackin's home on May 3, where Stewart pistol-whipped Capone. The trio then placed black hoods over the actors' heads and drove them to Jones's home in Compton.
There, the trio stripped Capone naked and forced him to stay in a bathtub for 30 hours without food.
Jones and Neal meanwhile took McCrackin's car and drove her to various banks demanding she pay at least US$10,000 to free Capone.
Eventually, McCrackin was forced to write a cheque for the same amount to Neal, who deposited it into her account, the indictment says.
The group brought McCrackin back to her home on May 4, where she escaped and contacted police, leading to the defendants' arrest.
Neal's arrest with her hands up in front of multiple police cars and police officers with their weapons drawn, has been viewed more than 3.2 million times on Twitter, the original poster suggesting it was an example of police brutality toward African Americans.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said Stewart and Jones face a maximum possible sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged, while Neal faces up to life in prison.
Bail was set at US$1 million for Jones and Neal, and US$2.08 million for Stewart. They are due in court for a pretrial hearing on July 23 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Centre county courthouse.