Police: Immigrant girl held captive and abused by stepfather in Texas trailer home

Monday, October 9th 2006, 10:17 pm
By: News On 6

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A 14-year-old girl smuggled across the Texas-Mexico border by her stepfather ostensibly to attend school was instead held captive and sexually abused by him, authorities said Monday.

The girl, who suffered "substantial bodily injury," told detectives she had moved in with Medrano about six months ago but had been kept in the trailer, sometimes with her ankle chained, for about the past two months, according to arrest records. She said Medrano sexually abused her and sometimes got her drunk.

Brownsville Police Lt. James Paschall said the girl required medical treatment but that he could not comment further.

A judge denied bond Monday for her stepfather, Juan Miguel Medrano, who was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, unlawful restraint and endangerment, and child abandonment.

The girl's mother had approached a U.S. Customs officer on Oct. 2 on an international bridge near her home in Matamoros because she was worried that Medrano wasn't allowing any family to visit the teenager.

The girl was found the next day in a locked trailer in Brownsville. Police arrested Medrano, a U.S. citizen, on Saturday after finding him in a relative's trailer home where he was hiding in a closet.

The girl was housed briefly in a women's shelter before she was returned to her mother in Matamoros, Mexico, police said. It was unclear whether her mother was still married to Medrano.