A man from Mexico in the US illegally is accused of holding a young woman captive in a locked room where he raped her for months and subsequently impregnated her.
Detectives with the Hidalgo County Special Investigative Group apprehended Noe Manuel Mendoza, 52, after receiving a 9-1-1 call from the Texas home where a 20-year-old woman was reportedly detained against her will after being smuggled into the US.
“The female victim was from the [sic] brought into the country illegally from Mexico and kept away from the public eye by her captors and continuously sexually assaulted,” states a news release from the San Juan police.
A person inside the home helped the woman, who is six months pregnant, by providing her a cell phone, according to the city’s police chief.
After being rescued, the woman admitted to police she had paid to be smuggled into the country seven months ago, but that Mendoza and another man kept her locked inside a residence in San Juan.
Police were able to rescue the woman Tuesday night amid a raid, and apprehended Mendoza the following day.
They also claim to have recordings that prove she’s been living with them in the US for the past three years.
Some Rio Grande Valley residents were immediately skeptical of the story, claiming that the woman may have fabricated the charges to attain permanent residency.
“So long as her information is corroborated through police investigation, she may be eligible for automatic Lawful Permanent Resident status,” said Michael Hernandez commenting on ValleyCentral.com. “It does not matter if the man is actually convicted or not.”
“Her story may or may not be entirely true, but many mexican nationals have obtained residency by being victims of certain crimes in the U.S.”
A separate commenter also noted the increasingly popular tactic is “becoming a trend with Mexican nationals now who are seeking to apply for citizenship.”
Mendoza has previously faced human smuggling charges, say San Juan police, and now faces two first degree felony charges, including aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault. He may also be eligible for federal charges as well, reports The Monitor.