United States

Feds Free Woman Lured to Bay Area, Forced to Live in Closet For Nearly a Year, Richmond Police Say

A woman was forced to live in a closet at a home in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood for a year while she was sexually and physically abused on a daily basis, police said.

Authorities arrested 35-year-old Eulogio Constantino-Sanchez, of Richmond, and an unnamed male relative at the home in connection with the incident, police said.

The woman, who police said had been lured from her home in Nicaragua with the promise of work and a better life in the U.S., was able to contact an agent from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She told the agent she was being forced to live in a closet and was being held against her will, police said.

The agent contacted Richmond police detectives working out of the recently opened West Contra Costa Family Justice Center, while advocates from the organization STAND! For Families Free of Violence contacted Richmond police detectives as well, police said.

Detectives learned the woman was being sexually assaulted and physically abused on a daily basis, according to police. She met her future captors on Facebook a year ago and said the abuse began once she arrived at her new home, police said.

Detectives were able to contact the woman through a cellphone and with the assistance of Homeland Security agents. Police said they able to swarm the home where the woman was held and found her inside, albeit a bit frightened.

Police said evidence at the residence corroborated the woman's account.

Further details about the incident will be released at a later date, police said.

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