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Angeles County | Community News File / North Hollywood

Death of Man Forced to Drink Alcohol Probed

June 10, 1998

Los Angeles police are investigating the death of man who was allegedly tied up and forced to drink alcohol, apparently in an aversion therapy program meant to kill his desire to drink, authorities said Tuesday.

Enrique Bravo, 34, died May 25 during treatment at Grupo Liberacion y Fortaleza on Lankershim Boulevard, authorities said.

Four men have been arrested on manslaughter and false imprisonment charges in connection with Bravo's death, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Craig Renetzky.

He said Bravo was restrained in a room with another man who went through the same treatment and survived. The patients were not medically supervised, he said.

"My basic understanding . . . is that these defendants were not letting 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 anymore," Renetzky said.

The suspects were either workers or volunteers, some of whom had been through the program, Renetzky said.

Alberto Saguache, 38, was arrested May 29 and charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was being held in lieu of $70,000 bail. The identities of the other defendants were not available.

Authorities said the clinic was operating without a license. A sign on the clinic door Tuesday evening said the facility was temporarily closed due to a death.

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