Sheriff's detectives arrested a 22-year-old Ceres man early Monday in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old acquaintance. The girl remains in the hospital and needs surgery for injuries from the assault, authorities said.
Detectives found Hector Medina Garcia, 22, about 5 a.m. at the Oakdale home of his 18-year-old fiancée and their 2½-year-old son, said deputy Royjindar Singh, the Sheriff's Department spokesman. Garcia is being held at Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of child molestation and rape. His bail has been set at $50,000.
The girl told authorities she met Garcia at the Pizza Pub on Kansas Avenue two to three months ago, Singh said. She said he told her he was 18. The two exchanged text messages and phone conversations and agreed to meet again at the Pizza Pub on Sunday night.
The girl's mother was supposed to go with the teenager, Singh said, but the mother had to work. The girl decided to go ahead with the meeting. She didn't have a ride, so Garcia and another male, whom Singh identified as Garcia's cousin, picked her up at her home, Singh said.
The cousin drove while Garcia was in the back seat with the teenager. According to Singh, Garcia started groping the girl and then raped her, while his cousin continued to drive. A short time later, they dropped the girl off where her mother works, and the mother and daughter reported the assault.
The majority of rapes are acquaintance rapes, Singh said. According to the Department of Justice, about 44 percent of rape victims are younger than 18. In 2006, there were 30 reported rape cases in Stanislaus County, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2235.