There is much attention paid to crimes committed by illegal immigrants, but not as much notice is given to the fact that illegal immigrants are also at a high risk for being the victims of a crime, and especially women. They make good victims, after all — their fear of deportation almost guarantees that they aren’t likely to go to the police and report the offender. One woman was brave enough to go to police though, where it was discovered that she had been abducted and held for ten years, subjected to rape and physical abuse, and even forced to marry her captor.
Police say the victim’s mother was dating Garcia, who was living with her family in 2004, when he drugged her daughter and kept her away from everything she ever knew for the next decade.
The mother is said to have reported her daughter missing and told officers she suspected Garcia of sexually abusing her, but was unable to provide evidence.
The alleged victim tried to escape at least twice, she told police, but was always caught by her captor and then beaten.
The woman said that their neighbours in Compton, California thought Garcia was a ‘great man’ because he was hard-working.
… The victim had come to the United States from Mexico to reunite with her mother and sister just six months prior to the alleged abduction.
Police say she ran to a park near her new Santa Ana home back in 2004 after a domestic dispute. Garcia met her there and when she said she had a headache and wanted to go home, he allegedly gave her pills.
… The next thing the victim recalls is waking up locked in a garage in Compton. And her nightmare of helplessness and brutality, police say, had only just begun.
The next day, the victim recalls Garcia handing her a fake ID and telling her she’ll never see home again.
‘The psychological part of this is,’ Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna explained to KTLA, ‘she is now taken away from her family, told that her family is not looking for her, told that her family doesn’t care…He’s the only one there for her. She doesn’t know anybody.’
‘He tells her that’s her new name, she needs to learn it, use it,’ Bertagna said.
The worst part of this story is that, as with every story of kidnapping victims who were held for long periods, blame is being placed on her for not running away or trying to escape, which is especially insulting, considering this woman’s specific situation. I wonder how the victim-blamers would react if they were planted illegally in a new country where they knew almost no one, and then almost immediately afterwards were abducted and beaten if they tried to escape.