Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 12
Oceanside couple deny holding 12-year-old as sex slave
Hearing in San Diego North County Superior Court to continue next week
An Oceanside couple were in court last week, accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old niece, and arranging for the girl to be paid for sex acts with another man. The alleged victim also claimed the pair kept her as a servant, to cook and clean and care for their own three children.
Marcial Garcia Hernandez, 45, and Inez Martinez Garcia, 44, are charged with 26 counts of aggravated sexual assault on a minor, according to prosecutor David Uyar.
The couple, living in a rented home as man and wife, are accused of abusing the young relation who came to live in their home from early 2001 until November 2002. The alleged victim is now 24 years old, and she testified at a court hearing last Thursday, February 28, 2013.
The alleged victim said that within two months of her arrival, her uncle forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. The alleged victim stated that on multiple occasions she was called into the bedroom of her aunt and uncle, and the alleged abuse occurred with her aunt present. The alleged victim also said there were times when her uncle summoned her to a bathroom which he claimed was not sufficiently clean, as a ruse to have her in that room.
The alleged victim stated she was forced to care for her aunt and uncle’s own children, and to walk them to school, but that she was kept home and not permitted to go to school. The victim said her Aunt Inez sometimes took her to that woman’s dishwashing job at a Chinese restaurant, and the child washed dishes and was paid cash, but was not allowed to keep the money.
The alleged victim said it was after a particularly savage beating with a belt, when she finally phoned for police help; she remembered it was the day before “turkey day” or Thanksgiving, of 2002. She said she was taken to a refuge place in San Diego County known as the Polinksy Center, where she stayed for a week and was given medication for what was alleged to be a sexually transmitted disease, before she was returned to her parents in Mexico.
Defense attorney Alan Spears suggested in his cross examination that the alleged victim, identified as “Isabella,” discovered that a person might obtain a visa and be able to stay in the U.S.A., if that person claimed to be a victim of a crime.“Isabella” did confirm that she has obtained what was called a “U-visa.”
The alleged victim and both defendants have assistance of court-provided interpreters; Spanish language for “Isabella” and Zapoteco for the defendants. Garcia and Hernandez plead not guilty to all charges.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume before Honorable Judge Richard Mills on Monday, March 4, 2013, in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse in Vista.
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