Bail has been set at $2 million for an Oceanside couple who is accused of sexual misconduct against a 12-year old Hispanic girl they helped smuggle over the border 10 years ago.
Inez Garcia and Marcial Hernandez have pled not guilty 26 felony counts relating to the incident. The pair is reported to be facing 390 years to life if they are convicted. A spokesperson for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said that Hernandez and Garcia are legal, permanent residents but they have immigration holds. This, he said, means that even if the couple were able to post a bond they are ineligible for release. The defendants legally emigrated from Mexico at an unspecified time in the past.
Attorneys for both the defense and prosecution have not said much about the case. Neither made comment regarding the bail amount. The bulk of the information on the case to date has come from documents filed with the court. Those indicate the alleged misconduct took place over a 12-month period beginning in 2001 and ending in 2002.
An unidentified individual close to the case said the girl was promised a better life but was forced into servitude. She was also required to have intimate relations with Hernandez and other men of his choosing.
The victim came forward two years ago. The matter is ongoing.