Crime

Man Arrested In California For Keeping Woman As Sex Slave, Police Say

| by Jared Keever

Police in California have arrested a Richmond man and his male relative on allegations that a woman had been held prisoner for a year and sexually and physically abused on a daily basis.

Richmond police arrested 35-year-old Eulogio Constantino-Sanchez Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Few details have been released, and police have not named Constantino-Sanchez’s relative. 

As of Wednesday night Constantino-Sanchez was being held on suspicion of kidnapping, rape, corporal injury, false imprisonment, and conspiracy, according to the Contra Costa Times. 

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Police told KNTV News that the raid and subsequent arrests came about because of the cooperation of numerous agencies. 

The alleged victim in the case, who has not been named, reportedly contacted a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent saying she was being held against her will and forced to live in a closet. 

That agent contacted Richmond police who had also been contacted about the case by the organization STAND! For Families Free of Violence.

Richmond detectives with the West Contra Costa Family Justice Center began investigating. 

Authorities tracked the woman to a Richmond home after contacting her via cellphone with the help of Homeland Security. She was found inside the home during the raid on Tuesday and was reported as being frightened. Further details about her condition have not been released. 

Police said they believe the woman met Constantino-Sanchez on Facebook and was eventually lured from her home in Nicaragua with “promises of work and having a better life in the U.S.,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Police believe that once she arrived she was held against her will for more than a year and physically and sexually abused daily. 

“We believe this is a human trafficking case because there was either fraud or coercion involved,” West Contra Costa Family Justice Center spokeswoman Susan Kim told KGO News. 

Neighbors who spoke to KGO said they routinely saw the woman around the home. 

One female neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she was surprised to hear allegations that the woman was being held against her will. 

“I used to see the lady cleaning, opening the doors wide up and she would be cleaning, you know, just hi and bye that's it,” she said.

Richmond police said they may hand over the case to Homeland Security, according to the Contra Costa Times. More details about the case will be released by police at a later date.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Contra Costa Times, KNTV News, KGO News

Photo Credit: Police photo via KNTV News