(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — The attorney for a Bell Gardens, California, man accused of keeping a woman hostage for ten years said his client is innocent of charges that include rape and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense.
Charles Frisco Jr. said Thursday that people he talked to about 41-year-old Isidro Garcia said that he treated the unnamed woman he married in 2007 “like a queen,” adding, “He was devoted. She had her own car. She had her own job. She was very independent.”
Frisco questioned why she waited so long to come forward, suggesting the woman was worried about a custody battle because the couple was splitting up.
However, the woman, 25, told police a different story when interviewed last Monday. She claimed that she was drugged and abducted by Garcia during the time he was her mother’s live-in boyfriend in 2004.
Authorities talked to both the woman and Garcia following a domestic violence accusation last weekend. Although there was not enough evidence to file charges on that allegation, Orange County prosecutors determined that Garcia had sexually abused the woman a decade ago, pertaining to a missing persons case in Santa Ana from 2004.
A spokeswoman for the Orange County DA says Garcia had convinced the woman that her family was no longer looking for her and that over the course of the decade, Garcia physically, emotionally and sexually abused her so she felt no other recourse but to stay with him.
It wasn’t until the woman recently connected with her sister via Facebook that she met with her sister and mother and decided to go to police.
The woman also alleged that she and Garcia moved at least four times and that he arranged multiple identities for her.
The couple also had a child, born in 2012, although there is some question about her real birth date.
Garcia, who did not enter a plea Thursday, will be formally arraigned on June 9. He is being held on $1 million bail.
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