California man accused of imprisoning woman for a decade could face life in prison

Isidro Garcia, charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. (Santa Ana Police Department)
Isidro Garcia is charged with rape, kidnapping and false imprisonment. (Santa Ana Police Department)

The California man arrested this week for allegedly kidnapping a teenager a decade ago and keeping her imprisoned has been charged with multiple felonies, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Isidro Medrano Garcia, 42, of Bell Gardens, Calif., was charged Thursday with forcible rape, lewd acts with a minor and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense. These charges, all felonies, carry a maximum potential sentence of 19 years to life in prison.

Police in Santa Ana announced Wednesday that they had found the woman, now 25, nearly 10 full years after she was first reported missing in August 2004. They also said they had arrested Garcia, who the woman told police had repeatedly assaulted her physically and sexually and locked her in a garage before eventually forcing her to marry him. She said they later had a child together. (Police said the child was born in 2012, while the district attorney’s office said she got pregnant in 2010, so it’s unclear when the child was actually born.)

The office of Tony Rackauckas, the district attorney, also provided additional information regarding the history between Garcia and the unidentified 25-year-old woman. Garcia met the woman in February 2004 when he was dating and living with her mother. He began buying her gifts and taking her side when the woman argued with her mother, according to Rackauckas’s office. Between June and August of that year, he is accused of sexually assaulting her three separate times and raping her at least once.

In August 2004, after a “mutual domestic violence incident” with the woman’s mother, Garcia allegedly kidnapped the woman. He is accused of holding her against her will, giving her paperwork with a false identity and threatening the woman if she ever called the police. Garcia also allegedly got her a job where he worked to keep an eye on her.

Last month, the woman got in touch with her sister on Facebook. She then met with her mother and sister before eventually going to the police, officials said.

An investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE: Garcia’s attorney denied the charges on Thursday, saying that the claims were made up because Garcia and the woman were breaking up, the Associated Press reports.

 

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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