The attorney for Isidro Garcia, aka Tomas Medrano, the man accused of kidnapping a Santa Ana girl when she was 15, raping her and holding her captive for 10 years vigorously denied the charges this week, questioning why the now 25-year-old woman would wait until now to come forward, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The defense attorney, Charles Frisco Jr., mused that it didn’t make sense for her to suddenly come forward now, after a decade together. He speculated it might have had something to do with marital problems, saying the couple was in the process of splitting up, according to CNN.
This is a fascinating case in that it involves Mexican nationals – and social mores in Mexico are and have been quite different from what we believe here in the United States. In the past, women in Mexico were basically forced into the union of marriage, as described in a lengthy online article on the subject.
Furthermore, the age of consent in Mexico can be as young as 12 years old! Here is what Wikipedia reports on this subject:
In Mexico, criminal legislation is shared between the federal and state governments. The federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age of consent, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18 (sex with someone 12-18 is not illegal per se, but can still be open to prosecution under certain circumstances). Local state laws may override the federal law. In practice, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person’s age. At state level, the minimum ages of consent vary between 12 (and puberty in a few states) and 15, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities vary from 16 to 18 (most common 18), according to Wikipedia.
None of this excuses what Garcia/Medrano did. But it might serve to explain why he and so many of his neighbors in Bell Gardens think he is innocent. One neighbor told reporters that Garcia would drive his wife back to her mother’s home in Santa Ana for visits, according to NBC4.
If the Orange County District Attorney’s prosecutor on this case cannot prove that the captive young lady was raped, and cannot prove that she did not consent to going with Garcia/Medrano, then their case might be headed for a courtroom failure. The stakes are quite high for Garcia/Medrano who is facing a possible sentence of life in prison if he is found guilty of all the charges, which stem from the taking of the young lady but do not include any counts of domestic violence.
In the end one has to wonder if the Obama administration will end up deporting everyone involved as none of them, except for the daughter produced by Garcia/Medrano and his allegedly captive bride, are American citizens. Obama has deported more Mexicans than any other U.S. President.