The defense attorney for an East Palo Alto man accused of kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend said today that his client had been falsely accused and that the sex the two had in July 2010 was consensual.
Closing arguments were given today in the San Mateo County Superior Court trial of Jose Estrada Ramirez, 29, who has been charged with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend outside a party in Redwood City on July 5, 2010, and raping her twice over a 26-hour period.
Deputy district attorney Shin-Mee Chang said that one day after the victim -- known only as Maria Doe -- told Ramirez she wasn't getting back together with him, he chased her down outside a home where she was attending a party with her children, and forced her into a truck.
A woman witnessed what appeared to be a kidnapping and called her brothers, who flagged down police to report the crime, prosecutors said. Maria was driven to Pleasanton, where she was allegedly taken from the truck and raped by Ramirez in the woods, Chang said.
The victim was then driven into Yolo County, where she was raped a second time inside Ramirez' truck, Chang said. The two were picked up by police at about 4 p.m. the following day, where the defendant's truck had run out of gas.
Maria immediately told the officers she had been raped, Chang said.
She had bruises on her arms that were consistent with being held down, cuts and abrasions on her arms and legs, and grass stuck in her hair, according to the prosecution.
Defense Attorney Armando Garcia said that the sex was consensual, and that the two had been heading to Cache Creek Casino Resort for a getaway when they ran out of gas.
According to the prosecution, Maria left Redwood City without her purse and without making plans for her children to be cared for, something she would not have done if she were leaving on a planned vacation.
Garcia said Maria was motivated by jealousy of Ramirez' new girlfriend and plotted to ruin his life for revenge. If Maria were being kidnapped, Garcia said, she missed opportunities to call for help when they drove through a tollbooth on the Carquinez Bridge, and when they stopped at a Jack in the Box for food.
Chang argued that Maria had been subdued by fear and violence, already having been raped once by the time they crossed the Carquinez Bridge. She said that Maria was much smaller in stature than the defendant, and that he hit her in the face during the kidnapping. Ramirez testified that Maria became hysterical with jealousy during the trip and injured herself.
The jury began deliberating this afternoon. The defendant has been charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of kidnapping with intent to rape, and two counts of rape.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
--Bay City News