Richmond cop commended for rescuing sex slave

The police chief says Officer Mitch Peixoto went the extra mile when it counted.
February 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A Richmond police officer is being honored for rescuing a young woman who was kept as a sex slave for 15 years. The police chief says Officer Mitch Peixoto went the extra mile when it counted.

Peixoto received the chief's commendation at the three o'clock lineup. His intuition as a cop and a parent helped save the victim and end her long captivity as Raul Ochoa's sex slave. She was a close relative who lived with his family. The assaults happened in a shack which he built in the back yard. The victim was only 12 when the abuse started. It ended when she escaped at the age of 27. That's when the young woman came to the Richmond station to write a police report.

"It wasn't a lot of details on the report, something about a runaway, maybe battery," Pexioto said.

That's when Pexioto met her.

"We started talking and she told me that she had run away from home," Pexioto said. "She said she was 27 and I said 'Well, a 27-year-old doesn't have to run away; they can just leave home.'"

Pexioto says he tried to make a joke out of it.

"And it just went over her head and that's when I started to realize that socially I don't think she was all there," he said.

So, Pexioto took her inside and talked to her for a long time. That's when the horrific details of the abuse unraveled.

So what does Piexoto think of the accolade?

"It's nice, but it's just another day in Richmond," he said.

That's probably what the humble officer also said when he received each of his three "Officer of the Year" stars.


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