For 14 years a female relative of a man was kept as a sex slave after being kidnapped when she was 13 years old, according to CNN. For all of the years of torture and sexual brutalization of the now 29-year-old at the hands of Raul Ochoa of Richmond, California, the depraved convicted felon will only receive 22-years in prison.
While the 52-year-old California man was abusing the defenseless girl who he kept locked away in his backyard, scant yards away were his wife and children who lived in the house. This is one of many often painful examples of how children as young as the victim will often be living seemingly right under the nose of other family members or neighbors.
One of the neighbors even commented that she felt that there was something strange about Ochoa’s behavior and yet still made no effort to report her suspicions to the police. This appears to be a very important life lesson for others who suspect that young girls or young women living just beyond their fence might be held under duress.
It was not until August of 2012 that the kidnapped victim was able to muster up the courage to escape from her imprisonment of horror with the aid of a relative, reported CNN. After she escaped she and her relative made a beeline straight to the Richmond Police Department. Ochoa was arrested shortly thereafter, but the news was kept quiet.
On the other hand, in the Cleveland, Ohio kidnap case of three older girls; Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus the police reaction was far different. The police worked with the community to search for the three girls who had been held for 11 years as sex slaves in the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro. The eventual arrest in 2013 and conviction became international news. Ariel Castro, shortly after his conviction committed suicide in prison cell.
This was in stark contrast to the Richmond Police Department which chose to keep the case details and the arrest information a secret, by the discretion of Chief of Police Chris Magnus, according to CNN.
The unilateral decision by the police chief seems to run counter to the public’s right to know about how a man engaging in depraved criminal behavior in his community for well over a decade should be kept secret. In fact Magnus only released the information concerning the case after it had been published in a local newspaper.
The police official justified his actions by stating, “Just to clarify — we did not release any information up to this point about the case because the crime was perpetrated within the family by a very close family member,” reported CNN.
This appears to be a very dangerous precedent taken by the police chief in depriving the public information which could help them to be more responsive to suspected behavior they come across. While it is understandable perhaps, that a plea deal was struck to prevent the young woman from having to relive the 14 year ordeal again, the police chief’s job was to arrest the perpetrator and not censure the truth.
By the way the Cleveland, Ohio convicted sexual fiend Ariel Castro received life in prison without the chance of parole, plus 1,000 years for his crimes. Maybe the city of Cleveland knows more about justice that Richmond, California which gives out a pat on the hand for brutality and rape.
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