Santa Rosa rape victim found bolted to floor

February 15, 2010 6:51:34 PM PST
A North Bay man is being accused of a sadistic crime. Police say he held a woman captive in his trailer at a mobile home park in Santa Rosa where he repeatedly raped her for days.

59-year-old John Manuel Gomez was arrested at the Western Mobile Home Park on Santa Rosa Avenue and charged with kidnapping, rape and other related crimes. The victim was treated for her injuries, but investigators are saying little else about her.

Gomez's sister told ABC7 she just does not believe he is capable of committing such an atrocious crime.

"He's a good brother. He's really good," she said.

ABC7 spoke with Gomez's sister just after she visited him in jail. She wanted to be identified only by her first name, "Elena."

"He is pretty sad because he says that he feels that he let us down because he's there," she said.

Elena cannot believe her brother would tie up a woman then beat and rape her for three days. That is what the sheriff's office says Gomez did. Deputies responded Friday morning after receiving a call from someone who said a woman was being held captive inside a trailer belonging to Gomez.

The sheriff's office says when deputies entered the bedroom of the trailer, they found a 40-year-old woman pleading for help. They say she was tethered at the ankle and her restraint bolted to the floor.

Some neighbors wanted no part of this story. Among those who did talk, their reaction was one of disbelief.

"Shock would be an understatement," said Ron Sworeland who says Gomez was a mellow guy. "He never had an attitude, never spoke out of hand about anyone, never confronted anyone as far as being aggressive."

Most neighbors said Gomez seemed like a normal person. Marie Alonso did notice however, that there has been a lot of activity at his trailer.

"There were people coming in and out, yes," she told ABC7. "A lot of women, yeah."

Deputies also reportedly found evidence of drug trafficking in his home. Still, none of this makes any sense to Elena. She says her brother always helped those in need, even providing shelter in his trailer for the homeless.

"He tries to help these people, getting them off the streets and I really don't know why it happened because he's a really good man," she said. "If they need a place to stay, that's where they stay."

Sheriff's deputies also arrested Gomez's female roommate, but released her over the weekend. Gomez is being held on $2 million bail and his arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.