PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police officers arrested two residents for allegedly holding a mentally handicapped man against his will for roughly six months, during which time they tortured him, causing him to lose 60 to 80 pounds and suffer severe injuries including numerous cuts and contusions over his entire body, including his genitals, authorities said late Thursday.
Francisco Gerardo Rodriguez, 25, and Maria Leyva Jasmilet, 26, were arrested Thursday at their home located in the 3000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. During the arrest, officers found two children, ages 5 and 7, at the home. They were taken into protective custody and placed with the Department of Children and Family Services, said SMPD Sgt. Jay Trisler.
Rodriguez was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem and torture. Both suspects were booked for abuse of a dependent adult.
Trisler said officers were made aware of the alleged abuse on March 20 when the 26-year-old victim was dropped off at a hospital in Culver City with severe injuries. The victim was transported to another hospital for advanced medical care, at which time police were notified.
Officers said the victim had numerous new tattoos and appeared to be emaciated. He told the officers that he had been held against his will and tortured repeatedly.
Physicians told officers that the victim suffered from numerous cuts, abrasions and contusions and lost 60 to 80 pounds.
Anyone with information related to this crime is urged to contact Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or Investigator Hee Seok Ahn at (310) 458-8452 or the SMPD (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the We-Tip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Those offering tips could be eligible for a $1,000 reward. Callers will remain completely anonymous.
Callers can also contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS, by text, or by using the web, www.lacrimestoppers.org.