A 42-year-old man charged with kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter, with whom he had a child, was found guilty of lewd acts by an Orange County jury.
A mistrial was declared on a rape charge against Isidro Garcia, of Bell Gardens, who faced one felony count of forcible rape, three felony counts of lewd acts on a minor and one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. He was found not guilty on the kidnapping charge.
Jurors reached verdicts on some counts Thursday, but could not decide on other counts. The panel of three men and nine women was asked to return Friday, when the verdict was announced.
Sentencing is scheduled for April.
The woman who was allegedly abducted by Garcia and forced to marry and have a child with him testified during the trial that the abuse started within months of arriving from Mexico with her sisters. Now 26, she testified Garcia began sexually abusing her when she was just 15. She said he told her they would both be in trouble if she told her mother, who also testified against Garcia, and that he would call immigration authorities.
Prosecutors said Garcia kidnapped the teenager and changed both of their names using fake documents. They said he told the girl she could not leave him because she would be deported.
They lived in a Bell Gardens apartment, where they married and had a daughter who is now 3. A missing-person report was filed in 2004 — the year of the alleged kidnapping, according to prosecutors. Garcia allegedly forced the woman into marriage in 2007 and had a child with her in 2012.
He sexually assaulted the girl three different times and raped her once, prosecutors allege.
Neighbors said they never suspected there was anything wrong.
The woman was reunited with her mother in 2014. The alleged victim contacted her sister through Facebook on her birthday in April of that year, marking the first time her family had heard from her in years. A domestic dispute involving her and Garcia in Bell Gardens led to the suspect's arrest, police said.
Defense attorneys claimed the woman went willingly with Garcia, married him and had a child with him. They portrayed the woman as a rebellious teen who later plotted with her mother after their reunion to find a way to stay in the U.S. by claiming they had been abused by Garcia.
They contended the woman had multiple opportunities to escape over the course of a decade. Prosecutors said the woman was a mental captive, even if she wasn't physically held against her will.