Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles was arrested in Santa Rosa with two other people for holding a woman hostage and sexually assaulting her inside a home for several weeks. 52-year-old Jaime Gomez Cisneros of Watsonville and 34-year-old Guillermo Crestino Avina were also arrested the same day, according to the Examiner. Detectives say Barajas-Mireles was the mastermind and committed the sexual assaults.
The 34-year-old was originally detained on suspicion of aggravated sodomy, aggravated oral copulation and aggravated rape. He has been deemed a flight risk and bail has been set to $6 million. Cisneros and Avina are accused of false imprisonment and being an accessory.
A neighbor, known as Dee because she does not want her last name or identity known, said there were strange occurrences going on at the home with Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles in recent weeks.
“One of the suspects, Guillermo Avina, has driven her in the past three weeks to and from nail salons and getting her hair done.”
Dee claims that the victim moved in with Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles at the compound. She says the alleged kidnap and rape victim was not a victim at all. Dee also provided reporters with a photo of the smiling victim.
“She moved in here before Christmas. All of her clothes were here. She’s been living here. Me and her became friends. She wanted me to teach her English.”
However, detectives disagree and said the victim, a 22-year-old woman, had been held against her will since the holidays by Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles. The woman was able to escape last Wednesday, reports The Spreadit. Investigators made the arrests a short time later.
Sgt. Cecile Foche with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said the victim went through unspeakable acts of attacks.
“What this woman has gone through is absolutely terrifying … She was brutalized and held for what we now know was before the holidays. So this is two months of captivity where she was subjected to unspeakable sexual acts and brutal physical attacks on her.”
Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles beat and sexually abused her for several weeks, the woman said. Officials said she had injuries that are consistent with her allegations. Investigators said Cisneros and Avina are thought to have been responsible for guarding the victim and preventing her from leaving the compound.
All three men were detained when they approached the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office to retrieve property seized during the execution of a search warrant last Thursday.
“Out of an overwhelming sense of fear of retaliation coupled with the traumatic events she endured, she initially stated to law enforcement that she had been kidnapped at gunpoint.”
Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles and the other defendants face additional charges that could be filed as the investigation continues, notes Canada Journal. The victim is safe at an undisclosed location, investigators said. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.