HANFORD — An Avenal man charged in the kidnapping, torture and attempted homicide of his teenage girlfriend was found guilty on several charges recently, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.
Eddie Perez was arrested in January 2015 after officials said he held a 16-year-old girl hostage in his car for several days while he beat and raped her.
Perez was convicted of several counts of forcible rape; forcible rape with the special allegation of torture; torture; assault with intent to commit a felony; mayhem; assault with a deadly weapon; and felony domestic violence.
Assistant District Attorney Phil Esbenshade said the charge of forcible rape with the special allegation of torture comes with the eligibility of life in prison without parole.
Police searched for Perez after his former girlfriend was found bound and beaten in a car parked outside a Hanford apartment complex. She was discovered by bystanders after she screamed and cried for help.
The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment, after which authorities said doctors were able to determine she suffered a broken arm, among other injuries.
Later, Hanford Police investigators learned that the victim had run away from her Avenal home with Perez, then 19.
According to past Sentinel reports, the two traveled up and down the Central Valley. They ended up in Hanford, where they had a fight and Perez began beating the victim with a tire iron and raping her.
Police said Perez made her stay in the Chevrolet Malibu and refused to let her out, not even to use the restroom.
With the victim held captive in the car, officials said Perez spent five days driving through county roads to elude law enforcement. They said he would park the car outside the apartment complex at night.
Perez was ultimately taken into custody just a block away from the apartment complex after a day-long manhunt by Hanford PD..
Esbenshade said along with using a tire iron, Perez also poked the victim with a knife several times and disfigured her by pouring a substance on her wounds — which contributed to the charge of mayhem.
He said the trial was suspended for a year due to Perez being declared incompetent to stand trial. The trial began on June 17 and lasted four days with Judge Donna Tarter presiding, he said.
Esbenshade said the victim, who testified during the trial, is doing well now.
He said this is one of the more disturbing cases he has seen in his career as a prosecutor and commended the Hanford Police Department and Sex Crimes Unit for the great jobs they did in the case.
Perez’s sentencing will be held at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 8 in Department 5 of the Kings County Superior Court.