3 men arrested after woman held captive, sexually assaulted in California home for weeks


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SANTA ROSA, California — Three men were arrested in the case of a woman who reported being held captive and sexually abused for almost two months, authorities said.

Investigators believe Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles masterminded the kidnapping of the 22-year-old woman, who was held against her will in a rural home in Santa Rosa since the holidays, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said. Authorities initially said she had been held captive for three weeks.

She escaped last week after noticing an open door and went to police.

Barajas-Mireles, 34, is responsible for the sexual abuse and most of the physical assaults, investigators said. He was charged with aggravated sodomy, aggravated oral copulation and aggravated rape. His bail was set at $6 million, an official said Wednesday.

Jaime Gomez Cisneros of Watsonville and Guillermo Crestino Avina of Santa Rosa guarded the victim and prevented her from leaving the compound, the sheriff's office said. Each was charged with false imprisonment and being an accessory.

The suspects were arrested when they went to the sheriff's office to retrieve property seized during the investigation, authorities said.

The woman had told police she had been randomly kidnapped at gunpoint from the neighborhood where she lived. But none of the men were charged with kidnapping or firearms violations.

"Out of an overwhelming sense of fear of retaliation coupled with the traumatic events she endured, she initially stated to law enforcement that she had been kidnapped at gunpoint," the office said.

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