A $2 million bail has been set each for an Oceanside, Calif. couple charged with turning a 12-year-old Mexican girl into a sex slave.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting Inez Martínez García, 43, and her husband, Marcial García Hernández, 45, were each charged with 26 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child at a hearing before Vista Superior Court Judge Martin Staven. Each face a sentence of 290 years to life if convicted of all charges. The bail was set Monday and they didn’t enter peals at the hearing. Both remain jailed Tuesday.
Prosecutors charged that the couple obtained a 12-year-old Mexican relative to live with them in 2001 after promising she would receive education and a better life.
Instead, authorities claim the girl was forced to care for the couple’s three children, beaten, raped and sold for sex. According to sheriff’s Deputy George Crysler, the girl, who was not enrolled in school, was also forced to cook and clean. Crysler also said she was forced to have sex with Hernández and was occasionally sold to other men for sex. The District Attorney Office alleged the sexual abuse took place over a 13-month period.
The Sheriff’s Department also stated the girl’s ordeal ended after she was beaten so badly authorities removed her from the home. She was then returned to México.
Now an adult, she came forward 2 ½ years ago with details of the alleged abuse. Her name and current age have not been revealed.
The publication is also reporting the Oceanside-based couple emigrated from México. They are both legal residents of the United States. In court, their defense attorneys stated the couple would require interpreters able to speak Zapotec, recognized as an indigenous language spoken in Oaxaca, located in southern México.
The Los Angeles Times is stating the victim has come back to the U.S. and is currently assisting in the prosecution.
The judge set the duo’s arraignment for Dec. 18.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.