Emerald and Star Nugent

Star Nugent booking mugshot. Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Submitted Photo/The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

Two people charged in connection to a recently reported hostage situation in Ferndale waived their rights to preliminary hearings Wednesday. 

Emerald Harrison Nugent, 35, and Star Elizabeth Nugent, 43, waived their hearings in front of District Judge Susan Gindlesperger through their attorneys, Jerome Kaharick and assistant public defender Kenneth Sottile, respectively. 

Ferndale police say the Nugents and a 17-year-old female threatened two individuals and forced them to perform work between July 31 and Aug. 1. 

Two alleged victims said they were forced to leave a property in Windber and return to the Nugent’s Ferndale residence, according to a criminal complaint filed by police. 

The alleged victims said they were threatened with violence and death, along with their families, the affidavit says, while an unknown black male allegedly assaulted one of the victims and the other victim was forced to perform sex acts on three people against her will.

“(The victims) were advised by Emerald Nugent that if they left 803 Summit Ave., he would send his people after them and hunt them down,” Ferndale police Chief John Blake wrote in the affidavit.

“(The victims), due to the threats made against them, were in fear for their lives which resulted in them being unable to leave the residence on their own free will.”

One of the alleged victims eventually called 911 to report the situation. Once police arrived on scene, both victims escaped the home through a second floor window.

Police have charged the Nugents with two counts each of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, unlawful restraint/involuntary servitude, terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, recklessly endangering another person and false imprisonment.

Online court documents show bond for both Nugents was modified to $100,000 unsecured Wednesday, and they will be released from Cambria County Prison. 

Formal arraignment for both Emerald and Star Nugent is scheduled for Oct. 15, according to online court documents. 

Charges against the female juvenile are being handled through juvenile court, according to Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.

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