News

East Palo Alto man on trial for rape, kidnapping

Closing arguments delivered Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court

The defense attorney for an East Palo Alto man accused of kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend said Tuesday that his client had been falsely accused and that the sex the two had in July 2010 was consensual.

Closing arguments were given Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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 Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Appalled
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Every other article is about crimes in East Palo Alto. It is so scary to live next door one town away from such a crime riddled town. Can't something be done to erradicate the high crime? Its just as bad as Oakland.....so appalling and depressing. We need to hire a high crime SWAT team to cleanup the mess and fight the crime war. The thugs are winning because there arent enough cops patrolling in EPA!


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Two cents
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I listen to a police scanner a lot and it seems like Palo Alto and Menlo Park cops are routinely going to EPA to help them or arresting people from EPA. East Menlo is just about the same as EPA.


Like this comment
Posted by EPAandStanford
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Appalled - EPA crime is not nearly as high as Oakland. Comparing apples and oranges just shows your ignorance. There is a solution - you can move is you don't want to live close to "such a crime riddled town."


Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Crime in East Palo Alto is as disproportionately high as it is in Oakland. Perhaps not in sheer volume, but certainly a fair comparison in terms of statistical percentage. I firmly believe that simply moving is not a solution that law-abiding, responsible people should accept in terms of dealing with a crime ridden community. No one should ever surrender their neighborhoods and quality of life to gang members, drug dealers, and thugs. Although increased law enforcement efforts have to be a part of the solution, it can't be the only approach. There must be anti-gang programs, youth activities, neighborhood coalitions, etc.


Like this comment
Posted by Really
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Phil- show us the data for your comparison.


Like this comment
Posted by AC
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by tired of the BS
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

Why try to deny it, our crime rate is disproportionally high. Why? For starters, we tolerate it. We have a low staffed, low paid police department. Our schools have an outrageously high truancy rate.

As a city we need to get our priorities straight. Lets stop coddling and protecting the criminals and start funding the police department and getting our kids butts in school.

Lets get those basics taken care of, then we can start working on things like empowering women and teaching some parenting skills.

As far as the immigration problem, the latest group of shooting/homicide have been between African American teenagers. Not an immigration issue.


Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2011 at 11:26 am

Want stop.Get outta dodge because you cant count on police who are rejects from other cities...The new breed is vicious and will not listen.These are seeds who are planted in corupt soil and grow wild.2012 will be off the hook you can look foward to that.EPA is a battlefield in the makings.


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