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Rape Suspect Held Family, Police Say

A self-styled witch doctor who purportedly held a Lodi woman and her two children against their will in a Pacoima motel has been arrested on suspicion of kidnaping and rape, Los Angeles police said Sunday.

Jose Navarro, 63, of Stockton was arrested Saturday after the woman’s relatives traced the pair to the Jay Motel on San Fernando Road and escorted them to Foothill Division headquarters at 3:30 p.m., Officer Dean Morris said.

The woman, 23, and her 5-year-old twins vanished from their Northern California home Sept. 3.

According to police, Navarro had been treating the woman for possession of evil spirits and used the woman’s fear of spirits to engage in sexual intercourse with her. It is not known how long the pair lived at the motel.

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Navarro is being held at the Foothill Division in lieu of $100,000 bail. His arraignment is expected early this week.


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