Battered woman implicates self in court testimony

NORCROSS -- Airing her woes on the witness stand, a battered wife from Norcross inadvertently admitted to lying to police about key facts in her case, and now she's charged alongside her husband in a domestic confrontation last month, documents show.

Laura Sayago, 24, called police June 12 and reported that her "estranged" husband entered her home uninvited, kicked in a bedroom door, physically assaulted her and stole her Sony VAIO laptop before fleeing, according to a police report.

Two witnesses in the Rockbridge Court apartment corroborated Sayago's story, the report states.

Minutes later, police caught up with Sayago's husband, Cesar Velazquez-Arias, 31, walking Jimmy Carter Boulevard with scratches on his arms and back. Velazquez-Arias denied wrongdoing but was arrested on charges including robbery, burglary and simple battery

During his probable cause hearing last week, Sayago altered her story, saying under oath her husband actually lived at the apartment and that she never accused him of stealing the laptop.

Sayago testified the two had been arguing and she was "about to throw him out of their residence" when he assaulted her, according to a follow-up police report.

A Gwinnett Magistrate Judge presiding over the hearing contacted the officer who took the initial report and told the officer of discrepancies in Sayago's story.

By the time the officer secured an arrest warrant for false statements, Sayago had left the courtroom. She had yet to be arrest Thursday, records show.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said the burglary and robbery charges against Velazquez-Arias will be dismissed, but the assault and related charges will stand. He's also being held for federal immigration authorities.