Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A 41-year-old man was ordered to stand trial Friday on charges of kidnapping his former live-in girlfriend’s teenage daughter in Santa Ana and sexually assaulting her over 10 years.

Isidro Medrano Garcia of Bell Gardens was ordered held to answer on charges of forcible rape, kidnapping to commit a sex offense and three counts of lewd acts on a minor. He was scheduled to return to court for a post- preliminary hearing arraignment on May 5.

After hearing testimony from Santa Ana police Detective Ricardo Diaz, Orange County Superior Court Robert Fitzgerald ordered Garcia to stand trial.

Garcia’s attorney, Charles Frisco Jr., tried several times to question Diaz about the lives of Garcia and the alleged victim in 2006 and 2007, but Fitzgerald upheld Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokoksy’s objections for relevance. Frisco is expected to make the case that the alleged victim went with Garcia willingly and that they made a life together in which they were married and attempted to have children together.

Bokosky acknowledged to reporters after the hearing that the kidnapping count will be the toughest charge to win a conviction on. It’s a key count in the case but it mandates a life sentence.

The two left together after the defendant had a physical conflict with the alleged victim’s mom. The teen ran to a nearby park and the defendant, who followed her, convinced her she could not return home because the police were there and they would deport her, Bokosky said.

The key will be proving the victim’s “mind set” that she was “moved out of the area because she was fearful she couldn’t go home,” Bokosky said.

Garcia accused of forcing his captive into marriage in 2007 and had a child with her in 2012, was being on $1 million bail.

Frisco has said in the past that the alleged victim had multiple chances to leave the defendant over the past decade and go to authorities.

The girl, then 15, was reported missing in August 2004 by her mother, who suspected Garcia, her one-time live-in boyfriend, of abducting her daughter, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The mother also suspected at that time that Garcia had been sexually abusing the teen for about two months, according to investigators.

Garcia met the girl in February 2004 and would buy her gifts and take her side when the teen quarreled with her mother, according to prosecutors.

Garcia is accused of molesting and kissing the girl between June and August of 2004, according to prosecutors. He sexually assaulted the girl three different times and raped her once, prosecutors allege.

The girl was born in Mexico and came to the United States to be reunited with her mother and sister, who lived with Garcia in the 800 block of Fairview Street, Bertagna said.

The alleged victim contacted her sister through Facebook on her birthday in April of last year, marking the first time her family had heard from her in years, Bertagna said.

A domestic dispute involving her and Garcia in Bell Gardens led to the suspect’s arrest, Bertagna said.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.