Natalee Holloway suspect beaten in Peruvian prison: Lawyer

His attorney said the beating was not related to his extradition to the U.S.

May 29, 2023, 1:59 PM

Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, has been severely beaten in Peruvian prison, his lawyer told ABC News on Monday.

Van der Sloot is awaiting extradition to the U.S. on extortion and wire fraud charges stemming from an accusation that he tried to profit from his connection to the Holloway case.

PHOTO: In this May 8, 2012, file photo, Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot walks handcuffed to a courtroom at the Piedras Gordas prison in Lima, Peru.
In this May 8, 2012, file photo, Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot walks handcuffed to a courtroom at the Piedras Gordas prison in Lima, Peru. The lawyer of Van der Sloot said his client will fight extradition from Peru to the United States, where he is charged with extortion and wire fraud due to the disappearance of U.S. citizen Natalee Holloway in 2005.
Jose Huaynate/Reuters, FILE

The Dutch citizen has been serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old college student Stephany Flores.

Van der Sloot's Peruvian attorney, Maximo Altez, said he doesn't believe the beating was related to the upcoming extradition. It may, however, be connected to gang rules inside of the Challapalca Prison, where he's being held, Altez said.

The Challapalca maximum-security prison, where Joran Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores, stands in Tacna, Peru, on May 12, 2023.
Elmer Jilaja/AP

Van der Sloot is currently in the prison's medical aisle, Altez said, adding that he's asking the Peruvian Justice Ministry to transfer him to another prison as soon as possible.

Holloway, 18, went missing in May 2005 while on a graduation trip to Aruba with her Alabama high school classmates. She was last seen driving off with a group of young men, including van der Sloot, then 17.

In this June 10, 2005, file photo, a missing poster of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama high school graduate who disappeared while on a graduation trip to Aruba, is seen on Palm Beach, in front of her hotel in Aruba.
Leslie Mazoch/AP, FILE

Van der Sloot, who was identified as a suspect and detained but ultimately released, was indicted by an Alabama federal grand jury in 2010 for allegedly trying to extort Holloway's family.

Federal prosecutors alleged that in March 2010 van der Sloot contacted Holloway's mom, Beth Holloway, through her lawyer and claimed he would reveal the location of the teen's body in exchange for $250,000, with $25,000 paid up-front. During a recorded sting operation, Beth Holloway's attorney, John Q. Kelly, met with van der Sloot in an Aruba hotel, giving him $10,000 in cash as Beth Holloway wired $15,000 to van der Sloot's bank account, according to prosecutors.

In this June 4, 2010, file photo, Joran van der Sloot is escorted by police after being handed over by Chilean authorities at the border between both countries in Tacna, 1,250 kilometers south of Lima, Peru.
Sebastian Silva/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Then van der Sloot allegedly changed his story about the night he had been with Natalee Holloway, prosecutors said. Van der Sloot claimed he had picked her up but that she had demanded to be put down, so he threw her to the ground. He said her head hit a rock and she was killed instantly by the impact, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said van der Sloot then took Kelly to a house and claimed that his father, who had since died, buried Natalee Holloway's body in the building's foundation.

Kelly later emailed Van der Sloot, saying the information he had provided was "worthless," according to prosecutors. Within days, van der Sloot left Aruba for Peru.

Earlier this month the Peruvian government issued an executive order accepting a request by U.S. authorities for a temporary extradition. An extradition date has not been set.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor, Emily Shapiro and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.

Trending Reader Picks

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news