Accused California kidnapper faces Judge

, Posted: Fri, May 23 2014 at 10:20 AM, Updated: Fri, May 23 2014 at 3:03 PM

Calif. --- (NBC News) A Southern California man accused of kidnapping a woman when she was 15 and of holding her captive and abusing her for 10 years was charged Thursday, a day after word of his arrest stunned neighbors.

Isidro Medrano Garcia, 42, of Bell Gardens, faces one felony count of forcible rape, three felony counts of lewd acts on a minor and one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. Prosecutors requested that he be held on $1 million bail.

Garcia's lawyer disputed his accuser's account of the past decade.

"She has her own motives for making something like this up," his lawyer Charles Frisco said. "There's no indication of any physical or mental abuse."

It was a connection with her sister via Facebook that eventually led the victim to contact law enforcement agents, prosecutors said. The woman met with her family, then contacted authorities, according to the District Attorney's office.

"Over the course of many, many years, maybe her freedoms did increase but she was still mentally his captive," said Farrah Emami, of the Orange County District Attorney's office. "She found the courage to come forward."

Neighbors said the man they knew as Tomas Medrano seemed like a devoted family man. A nanny who cared for the child said the two appeared to be "the perfect couple," held parties on their Bell Gardens patio and doted on their 3-year-old daughter. 

But investigators said the woman "saw no way out" and tried twice to escape, but was re-captured by Garcia and severely beaten.

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