Man pleads not guilty to alleged decade-long kidnapping

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Bell Gardens man accused of kidnapping his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter and holding her captive for a decade has pleaded not guilty.

Isidro Garcia, 41, entered the plea Monday through his attorney during a closed-circuit TV arraignment from Orange County Jail.

Prosecutors allege Garcia raped the girl while he was living with her mother in Santa Ana in 2004. They say he kidnapped her from a park and changed their identities to avoid detection.

The alleged victim, now 25, had a child with Garcia. Prosecutors say he falsified the victim's age and forced her into marriage.

"I was 15. I couldn't do anything," the alleged victim said in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.

Garcia was arrested last month after the woman went to a police station near their Bell Gardens home and reported a domestic violence incident. Investigators then connected her to the Santa Ana kidnapping case.

Garcia's attorney says his client never prevented the victim from leaving and claims the woman only came forward because the couple was separating.

Garcia's neighbors from Bell Gardens came to court to show their support for him Monday. They claim Garcia bought the alleged victim a car, surprised her with parties, and that they appeared to be happy together.

If convicted, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 19 years to life in state prison. He remained in custody Monday, held on $1 million bail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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