(Adds details from police on woman's ordeal)
By Tori Richards
SANTA ANA, Calif. May 22 A California man
accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl and holding her captive
for a decade was charged on Thursday 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 life
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 escape.
"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."
(Writing and additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los
Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Lisa Shumaker and Tom