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This police booking mug obtained May 21, 2014, courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department shows kidnap and sexual assault suspect Isidro Garcia. 1 / AFP/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES - A woman who told police she was kidnapped at 15 and held hostage by a man for 10 years now says she feels "happy and blessed" to be back with her family.

Orange County prosecutors filed five felony charges Thursday against the alleged abductor, Isidro Garcia, including rape and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense. He did not enter a plea, and his arraignment was continued until June. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Police in Santa Ana said the victim, whose name was not released, told officers her mother was in a relationship with Garcia in 2004 when he drugged the teen and drove her to a house in Compton, in Los Angeles County, where he held her in a locked garage.

Garcia, 42, denies the allegations, his lawyer, Charles Frisco, said outside the brief court hearing.

He said Garcia maintains he never hit his wife and did not prevent her from leaving, and that her claims of abuse were made up because the couple is going through a difficult breakup.

"From a perspective of common sense, 10 years have gone by, and she never ever told one person that something was afoul?" Frisco said. "Why is it she never said anything to indicate he did anything wrong?"

Los Angeles County prosecutors cited a lack of evidence in declining to file a domestic violence charge against Garcia for an incident Saturday in Bell Gardens, Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Thursday.

Garcia's wife's report of that incident led to Bell Gardens police connecting her to a missing-persons case from 2004 in Santa Ana. They referred the case to Santa Ana, where the alleged kidnapping took place.

Santa Ana police say Garcia moved with the victim frequently and forced her to marry him in 2007. They had a child together in 2012, police said. The victim, now 25, came forward after contacting her sister via Facebook. The girl's mother reported her missing to police in August 2004.

"I was 15. I couldn't do anything, I don't have a life," the woman told KABC-TV, her back to the camera. "He worked hard for me and my daughter and he bought everything I want, but I need love of my family - not things."

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said investigators believe the victim arrived with her mother and sister from Mexico illegally in February 2004 and spoke no English.

"You are talking about a 15-year-old girl that is in a new country, that gets here in February, and this happens to her six months later," said Bertagna said. "She's told her family doesn't care, her family isn't looking for her."

Bertagna said the victim told officers there was "continued and repeated assaults. On two occasions she tried to escape, he caught her, he beat her for her efforts."

She told police that Garcia said her mother was not looking for her and that if she contacted authorities, her family would be deported.

In the suburb of Bell Gardens, neighbor Javier Campos said he was stunned at the news. "It's hard to believe because he ... seemed like such a nice guy from what we see," Campos said.

Neighbor Meribel Garcia, who is not related to the suspect, was not so surprised. "He was always watching, when she was outside he was looking through the window, looking down at her," Garcia said. "And she would look at him, and she would go right back in as if she knew she had to do what he said."

Police described Isidro Garcia as the mother's "cohabitant boyfriend" at the time of the kidnapping and said he allegedly began sexually assaulting the victim in the family home in June 2004.

Bertagna said Garcia fought with the girl's mother in August 2004 and left, taking the girl with him. She told investigators he gave her pills that knocked her out, and that she awoke in a garage in Compton.

The mother "filed a police report and for 10 years (police) did due diligence. But they were changing their names and dates of birth and physical locations so that made it exceedingly difficult," Bertagna said. The victim tried to escape twice but was severely beaten, he said.

Garcia obtained documents from Mexico giving the victim a new name and date of birth, and he used them to marry her at a courthouse in 2007, he said.

"I was very afraid about everything because I was alone," the woman told KABC. "I think i was alone, but I was never alone. My family was with me."

Contributing: Associated Press



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Prosecutors file felony charges against alleged abductor, husband

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