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Rape suspects to be arraigned today

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Posted: Monday, November 27, 2000 10:00 pm

Jose Franco, 33, and Teodoro Garcia, 55, booked on suspicion of kidnapping and rape, are scheduled to be arraigned today in Lodi Municipal Court.

The two men, working as farm labor workers at a Lodi area ranch, are being held at the city jail on charges of kidnapping a woman from a Lodi bar.

Additionally, Franco, who is being held on $100,000 bail, will be charged with rape and penetration with a foreign object.

Garcia, being held on $75,000 bail, faces charges of attempting to commit a sexual assault, said Lodi Police Detective Mike Morris. The men were arrested Sunday.

The incident allegedly started at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday when the 21-year-old Sutter Creek woman reportedly left a bar in the 100 block of North Sacramento Street near Elm Street.

“She comes down to the bars to dance, goes outside without her friends, someone in a car says something to her in Spanish, and she disappears,” Morris said.

According to police, Franco reportedly forced the woman, whose name was not released, into a car driven by Garcia and took her to a Peltier Road ranch outside Lodi, where the two men reportedly worked. There, Franco allegedly raped her.

Garcia then tried to force the victim into a van that was parked at the ranch, but she managed to free herself from a jacket she was wearing and run to a house across the street. The residents, afraid the alleged assailants would follow the victim, took the woman to a Liberty fire station, where the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department was called, Morris said.

The 911 emergency call came in at 1:02 a.m. from the 11000 block of North Highway 99, said Joe Herrera, public information officer for the sheriff’s department. Because the alleged incident started in Lodi, the case was handed over to the city’s police department.

The men were arrested by Lodi police at 7:30 a.m. Sunday after being positively identified by the victim after she was taken to the ranch, police said. Both suspects were found asleep, Morris said.

The vehicle allegedly used to kidnap the woman has been impounded. Information on the vehicle was unavailable at press time.

Before the arrest was made, the woman was taken by police to the county hospital for a routine sexual assault examination, but she did not suffer any injuries such as bruises or broken bones as a result of the alleged incident, Morris said.

She apparently had not been previously acquainted with her assailants. “These men were complete strangers. She did not know them,” he said.

Although no formal blood-alcohol test was administered, officers reported that the victim was not intoxicated, Morris said.

Franco has been an employee at the ranch for two years, Morris said. Both men are “floaters” with no formal residence, he said.

Garcia is originally from Acampo while Franco was most recently a Stockton resident.

Their arraignment is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. today, Morris said.

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