A California man was convicted of keeping a then 12-year-old girl as a sex slave in his home for the next 14 years, but somehow managed to avoid life in prison. Raul Ochoa repeatedly raped and controlled his female relative, forcing her to live in a grimy shack she built herself while working for him. The unidentified female was spared the need to testify in trial after he pleaded guilty to one count of forced lewd acts on a child and two counts of forcible rape, being sentenced to 22 years in prison as part of the plea deal.
Ochoa home schooled the child while raping her two to three times every week, checked her cellphone regularly and restricted her ability to leave the house. She was held from 1998 until August 2012, when she was finally convinced to flee by her siblings. The woman told Ochoa she was going to the bathroom and ran from the house in a waiting car to the police station.
“Her entire childhood was stolen from her,” said Contra Costa deputy district attorney Ryan Wagner. “He convinced her the shack was going to be a place to watch movies together and for the family to hang out, but it turned into something much worse. She felt she couldn’t leave. He would threaten that he would harm her or harm himself if she left.”
It’s unclear whether his wife and other children and other children in the house knew the extent of the abuse taking place. Prosecutors say that his wife experienced regular violence from him and that she was “scared to death.”
(Photo: Contra Costa District Attorney)