SANTA ANA, Calif. (Reuters) - A California man accused of abducting his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter, marrying her and holding her captive for a decade of physical and sexual abuse was ordered to stand trial on Friday on kidnapping and rape charges.
Isidro Medrano Garcia, 41, was set to be tried on five counts of forcible rape, kidnapping to commit rape and lewd acts on a minor after an Orange County Superior Court judge found that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence against him to proceed.
He faces life in prison if found guilty.
The case made local headlines when the now-25-year-old woman came forward to tell police that she had been abducted in August 2004 by Garcia, who lived with her family at the time, and that she had been held captive ever since.
The woman said she had been sexually assaulted by Garcia and gave birth to his child in 2012.
Lawyers for Garcia have argued that the victim went with Garcia willingly and only made the accusations after the two had a falling out.
"Our defense is that she's making this up, she wants to get in the good graces of her mother," defense attorney Charles Frisco said outside court following the hearing. "She had so many opportunities to leave."
Garcia, who appeared in court wearing orange jail garb, did not speak during the hearing. He was ordered back to court on May 5 for further proceedings in the case.
(Reporting by Dana Feldman in Santa Ana; Writing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles)