Alleged VTA Fare Evader Becomes Sex Assault Suspect

A routine ticket check ended in the arrest of a sexual assault suspect and the discovery of a missing child.

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 7:54 PM PDT
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Two VTA Light Rail fare inspectors came to the aid of a 16-year-old San Jose teen who had allegedly been living with a Santa Clara man against her will, according to the sheriff's department.

NBC Bay Area

Two VTA Light Rail fare inspectors came to the aid of a 16-year-old San Jose teen who had allegedly been living with a Santa Clara man against her will, according to the sheriff's department.

Two VTA Light Rail fare inspectors came to the aid of a 16-year-old San Jose teen who had allegedly been living with a Santa Clara man against her will, according to the sheriff's department.

Her plight came to light on Tuesday, according to the sheriff, when she and Merced Pacheco were in some sort of VTA ticket violation and were asked by inpsectors to get off the train.

As the VTA fare inspectors were questioning the girl about her ticket, they learned she had been allegedly living with Pacheco against her will, according to the sheriff's department. She had previously been listed as a missing person.

The VTA inspectors called the Sheriff's Transit Patrol, who took Pacheco and booked him into custody on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with a minor and false imprisonment. 

"Thanks to the swift action and keen situational awareness of the two fare inspectors, deputies were able to respond quickly to the incident that was unfolding, while we hope has prevented a heinous crime from continuing," Captain Robert Schiller of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.

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