A 42-year-old man pleaded not guilty today to kidnapping his girlfriend's then-15-year-old daughter so he could rape her and holding her captive for more a decade.
Isidro Medrano Garcia faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted of five felonies related to the alleged 10-year abduction -- one of forcible rape, three of lewd acts on a minor, and one of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense.
Prosecutors allege he eventually forced the victim into marriage and fathered a child with her. He is due back in court for a hearing July 29 to determine if he will stand trial.
Garcia and the woman had most recently been living in Bell Gardens. Neighbors said the woman had her own car and appeared to be free to come and go, but she told authorities she tried to escape twice and was beaten when she was caught.
According to prosecutors, Garcia took a fancy to the girl when he was living with her mother in Santa Ana. The two disappeared in summer of 2004, and the mother went to police to say she suspected Garcia of taking her and having a sexual relationship with her.
At the time, the victim, whose name authorities have withheld, had recently arrived from Mexico, and Garcia allegedly isolated her by telling her that her family in Santa Ana wanted nothing to do with her.
He first took her to Compton, where she was initially locked up. But they continued to move around and change names, prosecutors said.
In 2007, Garcia supplied her with a fake name and birth date, based on some papers from Mexico, and married her, prosecutors said. The couple eventually moved to an apartment complex in Bell Gardens and both worked at the same janitorial company.
The woman eventually surfaced in April after contacting a sister via Facebook, police said.
— City News Service