‘It’s unbelievable’: disturbing details in South Bay kidnapping case
WARNING: Some of the details in this story are graphic and may disturb you.
A man arrested on Thursday on charges of kidnapping and raping a woman in a house with a dead body appeared in court on Friday.
While he was scheduled to appear in court, Rafael Banda’s criminal trial was rescheduled for Monday after he told the judge he had hired a lawyer.
During the hearing, Banda appeared uneasy, swaying from side to side in his chair. His bail eligibility was quashed after Deputy District Attorney Joshua Brisbane shared disturbing details of the case with the court.
According to Brisbane, Gang and the victim had known each other for about a week when he began acting erratically. It was then that the victim decided to end the relationship.
When the victim came to the house where Gang was staying to retrieve some of her belongings, Gang threatened the woman with a knife, forcing her to stay. Banda then forced the victim to call her daughter and ask for money. The victim’s daughter became concerned about her mother’s safety and called the police, but did not know the exact location of her mother.
Prosecutors say Banda asked the kidnapped woman to help dismember the woman’s dead body in the house. When she refused, Banda raped the victim. According to prosecutors, the next day, while Banda was sleeping, the victim was able to escape and call someone for help.
Some time later, he was arrested and is now charged with kidnapping and forcible rape.
“What happened is unbelievable,” said Juan Rodriguez, who lives directly opposite the house where Banda held his victim captive. “I never thought something like this would happen in this house.”
Rodriguez says he has known the family for many years and describes them as friendly. He says the house has been in the family for generations, and to the best of his knowledge, there are currently three people living in it; mother and her two adult sons. Rodriguez says he only recently started dating Gang at home.
A family friend told NBC 7 that Banda had recently moved into a garage and that his sister and her two sons moved out of the house temporarily to allow him to stay.
They expressed no confidence in the allegations.
The gang is due back in court on Tuesday, March 21.
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