3 men arrested in Santa Rosa hostage rape

Bail was set at $6 million Wednesday for the man thought behind the rape and terror of a woman held against her will for almost two months at a rural Santa Rosa compound.|

Three men were arrested Wednesday in what authorities described as the brutal rape of a 22-year-old woman who was held against her will on a rural Santa Rosa compound for nearly two months.

Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles and Guillermo Crestino Avina, both 34, from Santa Rosa and Jaime Gomez Cisneros, 52, of Watsonville were taken into custody about 4 p.m. at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

Barajas-Mireles, the alleged mastermind, was held on suspicion of aggravated sodomy, aggravated oral copulation and aggravated rape, Focha said.

His bail was set at $6 million because he was deemed a flight risk, she said.

Avina and Cisneros were held on suspicion of false imprisonment and of being accessories to the crime, she said.

Detectives believe the men began holding the woman sometime over the holidays at a gated property in the 3000 block of Stony Point Road. She reported she was beaten and sexually assaulted until her escape last week through an open door.

“It was brutal, absolutely brutal,” Focha said. “The woman was terrorized.”

The woman initially told Petaluma police she had been kidnapped at gunpoint from the Roseland neighborhood where she lived.

A sheriff’s SWAT team raided Barajas-Mireles’ Stony Point Road home the next day. Seven people were detained for questioning.

The suspects were arrested Wednesday when they came to the Sheriff’s Office to retrieve property that was seized, Focha said.

It was unclear if they were among the seven. Focha would not elaborate on the circumstances.

She said detectives believe Barajas-Mireles was responsible for many of the sexual and physical assaults. Cisneros and Avina were believed to have been guarding the woman and preventing her from leaving, Focha said.

Fear of retaliation plus the trauma of the assault may have caused the woman to report she had been kidnapped at gunpoint, Focha said.

However, none of the men were charged with kidnapping or firearms violations.

An investigation is ongoing, Focha said.

The men are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in a Santa Rosa courtroom.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter ?@ppayne.

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