Attorney Charles Frisco speaks during a news conference
after a jailhouse video court hearing for Isidro Garcia in
Santa Ana, California. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo
A California man accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl
and holding her captive for a decade has been charged with rape
and kidnapping, as his lawyer suggested the teenager went with
him willingly and was treated "like a queen."
Police say the woman, now 25, told detectives she endured a
decade of physical and sexual abuse after being abducted by
her mother's live-in boyfriend, Isidro Garcia, from the
family's suburban Santa Ana home in 2004.
The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was forced
into marriage in 2007 and bore his daughter in 2012, police
said. She contacted authorities this week after reaching out
to her sister on Facebook.
Garcia, 41, made a brief court appearance in Orange County
Superior Court on Thursday on charges of rape, lewd acts on a
minor and kidnapping. He was ordered held on $1 million bail
but did not enter a plea.
His attorney, Charles Frisco, told reporters outside court
that his client and the woman were a couple and suggested her
accusations were prompted by marital problems.
"It appears that the couple was going through a divorce and
she wanted to get back at him," Frisco said, adding his
client had no criminal record.
"He treated her like a queen," Frisco said. "He was devoted
to her. She had her own job. She had her own car. He was a
good, loyal, honest father as well as a husband."
Asked about the impropriety of marrying a girl at 15 and
accusations that Garcia took her against her will, Frisco
said he could not speak to events of a decade ago but that
Garcia was a simple man who "comes from a different culture."
The woman's reported escape comes a year after three women
famously emerged from a home in suburban Cleveland where they
were held for years and abused by their captor, Ariel Castro.
Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated
murder for forcing one of the women, whom he had impregnated,
to miscarry. He was found hanged in his cell a month into a
In California, prosecutors accuse Garcia of raping the teen
at least once while living with her in Santa Ana. She told
police that on the night of the kidnapping he drugged her and
locked her in a garage in Compton, 20 miles (32 km) away.
Neighbors who lived near Garcia in the community of Bell
Gardens told local media they were shocked by the allegations
and said the woman never appeared to be in distress.
Orange County District Attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami
declined to address those comments but said the woman had
been controlled by her captor despite having chances to
"This is a victim who was kidnapped at 15 years old and
convinced no one was looking for her," Emami said. "Over the
course of many years she was held mentally captive."