East Bay News

Richmond man gets 22-year sentence for keeping sex slave

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The East Bay man who kept a female relative as his sex slave for 15 years was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in state prison. Raul Ochoa was convicted and now sentenced for keeping a girl hostage for 15 years of her young life.

"I'm not sure any number is going to satisfy the harm that he did to this person," deputy district attorney Ryan Wagner said.

But the plea bargain, a 22-year sentence, spared the victim from the trauma of having to face Ochoa in court and re-live the horrors of the past 15 years as his sex slave.

Richmond Police Capt. Mark Gagan understands why the plea agreement was made, but he also questions if the punishment fits the crime.

"If you look at the fact that it was only 22 years, it really is on one hand, it's disappointing and if you really think about what she went through, it's appalling that he even has a chance to get out," he said.

The victim, a close relative of Ochoa, had been sexually assaulted for 15 years. It began when she was only 12.

Ochoa built a plywood shed in the backyard of the north Richmond home where he lived with his wife, children and the victim. The victim said the shed was where the rapes took place.

Today, the yard is empty. The shack was torn down after the victim was rescued.

Police say Ochoa had a powerful control over the entire family.

"They had suspicions and concerns and did not act on them however because of the fact that they were also victims," Gagan said.

In August 2012, the victim, now 27 years old, escaped with the help of Ochoa's family members.

She wrote a statement which a victim's advocate read in court Tuesday. She wrote about his control over her but also of her new life without him. "I remember fear and anguish and looking back now, I wanted to be free," she wrote. "So now I am free, I know no one is waiting outside the bathroom for me...you won't like this but I now go out with friends and have fun& I don't need you ... I hope you learn from what you have done to me."

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
richmond, crime, sex crimes, children, east bay news, vic lee
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