Couple Accused of Holding Girl as Sex Slave Face Court Hearing

Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2012

An Oceanside couple are scheduled to be in court Monday to face accusations that they kept an underage Mexican immigrant as a sex slave, forcing her into prostitution and beating her severely.

Marcial Garcia Hernandez, 45, and Inez Martinez Garcia, 43, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of 13 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under age 14.

The girl had been smuggled into the U.S. at age 12, and the abuse by Hernandez and Garcia occurred over a 21-month period, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Hernandez and Garcia forced the girl to care for their three children and cook and clean for the family, as well as have sex with Hernandez, according to Deputy G. Crysler, an investigator with the North County Human Trafficking Task Force.

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The couple forced the victim into lying about her age so she could work at a local restaurant, with Garcia and Hernandez keeping the money she earned, according to the arrest documents. She was also forced into having sex with older men, with Garcia and Hernandez keeping the money paid by “johns,” the documents said.

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