Ventura County – On the night of May 23rd, a young lady out for a night at the upscale Muvico Theater complex in Thousand Oaks found herself in a real-life horror-movie sequence when she went to the ladies’ restroom.
As the midnight hour approached—ostensibly following a “late show” film screening—the 23-year-old victim entered a restroom stall, secured the door, and proceeded to use the facility for its intended purpose. To her surprise, a young male suddenly “slid underneath the partition and sexually battered her,” as reported by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Cpt. Mike Hartmann.
According to Hartmann, a “brief struggle” immediately ensued between the young woman and her intruder, and following what one might presume was some serious close-quarters combat, the suspect immediately fled and left the premises.
The subsequent investigation by responding officers led investigators to reach out to local area Spanish language media outlets in the hope of generating leads based upon the victim’s description of her assailant. Over the following two week period, and as a direct result of the media coverage, “concerned citizens came forward” and identified the possible suspect as Hector Garcia, an 18-year-old resident of nearby Moorpark.
With additional evidence that included surveillance video gathered from Muvico Theaters pointing to Garcia, detectives from the VCSD East County Sexual Assault Unit tracked Garcia to his Westlake Village workplace, where he was contacted and placed under arrest. He was transported to Ventura County Jail where he was booked on charges of Sexual Battery by Restraint and False Imprisonment by Violence, with his bail set at $250,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking