Raul Ochoa, 52, received a sentence of 22 years after pleading guilty to a case of holding a relative as a sex slave for over a decade. A plea deal was struck to keep the victim from the ordeal of testifying in a public trial in which Ochoa admitted to counts of forced lewd acts on a child and forcible rape. The horrific acts of rape and enslavement began in 1998 when the relative of Ochoa and victim was 12 years old and continued until 2012 when she was able to escape from Ochoa with the help of a family member and went to the police.
When the victim first arrived at the police station on August 16, 2013 she explained that she was a run-away and wanted to move to another city. This alarmed investigating police officer Mitch Peixoto as the woman was then 27 years old and was not acting consistently with her age. The veteran officer continued to ask questions and gain the victims trust until a disturbing story of continual rape and sexual abuse began to unfold.
The victim indicated that she has been raped in a shed behind the house two to three times a week since moving in with Ochoa and his family in 1998. Piexoto then learned that there were other women in the house and quickly contacted Richmond, California sex crime detective Don Nelson. After a series of monitored phone calls the police had gathered enough evidence to arrest Ochoa on abhorrent crimes involving sexual slavery. In January 2013 the man plead guilty in the California sex slave case.
24 hours after the incriminating phone calls Ochoa was quietly arrested at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, California. When detectives visited Ochoa’s house they found a large cluttered shed behind the house where the rapes occurred for over a decade. The police learned that the victim had been forced to help build the shed. The victim was also home-schooled, forced to work for Ochoa’s landscaping business and was constantly monitored by Ochoa. Ochoa maintained control of the situation by continued threats of violence and psychological control over the victim’s other family members. Ochoa lived in the house with his wife and children.
A neighbor, Ina Mason, said she always sensed something was wrong at the Ochoa house. Mason stated that Ochoa and the victim were always together in the house and that the girl did not attend school and did not have friends. Mason was appalled that this kind of abuse had happened in the neighborhood and stated that no one had the right to treat another person in this manner.
Richmond chief of police, Chris Magnus, released a statement to the city council last week confirming the news story. Magnus stated that the case had developed in the summer of 2012 and that it was not made public due the nature of the detail. Chief Magnus stated that the case involved only family members and the victim was developmentally challenged and very fragile and that the investigation did not want to endanger the victim or the case of the California man pleading guilty to the sexual slavery. The police, while not wanting to publicize the victim’s private life, did say that after 14 years of sexual slavery the woman was struggling personally and having to move often. Ochoa is being held on a $30 million bond with sentencing anticipated on February 11.
By Anthony Clark