Accused Kidnaper Pleads Not Guilty
A Port Hueneme man accused of kidnaping and sexually assaulting his housemate and her 7-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty to 12 charges during his arraignment in Ventura County Municipal Court on Wednesday.
Justo Dungca, 34, was being held on $1-million bail in County Jail.
Dungca, is charged with kidnaping a child, two acts of child molestation, three counts of sexual battery on the mother, robbery of an automobile and grand theft for allegedly taking a federal tax-refund check from the mother, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent J. O’Neill Jr.
Dungca also is charged with kidnaping for robbery and kidnaping for extortion. The robbery stems from Dungca’s alleged use of the woman’s car to take the woman and her child from Port Hueneme to Anaheim, where the woman escaped. Dungca was later apprehended in Las Vegas, where he had taken the child and was trying to sell the car, authorities said.
The kidnaping for extortion charge results from Dungca’s allegedly forcing the woman to pay for a tankful of gas during the ride, O’Neill said.
The district attorney’s office also is charging Dungca with attempted murder and false imprisonment of a hostage, both of which allegedly occurred in Las Vegas.
O’Neill said the mother is concerned about testifying against Dungca.
To shield her from testifying during the preliminary hearing, O’Neill said he was considering pushing for a hearsay preliminary, which, under Proposition 115, would allow one investigator or police officer to testify about all the evidence and interviews gathered.
On July 19, O’Neill said, Dungca sexually molested the girl, whom he was baby-sitting.
Authorities said the girl called her mother and asked her to come home from work because she was sick. When the woman arrived home, Dungca bound and gagged her and her daughter in his bedroom, where he sexually assaulted the mother, authorities said.
Hours later, he forced them to drive with him to Anaheim, where the woman fled but was unable to free her daughter, authorities said.
Dungca was found the next day in Las Vegas, where he was trying to sell the car, said Lt. Greg Jolley of the Las Vegas police. As police approached, Dungca caught the girl in a stranglehold and beat her head against the floor, Jolley said.
She was treated at a local hospital and released, Jolley said.