By Josué Monroy
RIVERSIDE – The disturbing details of the continuous sexual abuse of a minor at the hands of her stepbrother were heard this week in front of Judge Godofredo Magno in a preliminary hearing at Riverside County Superior Court’s Hall of Justice.
Rafael Carcamo, 26, is accused of molesting his stepsister for a period of a year beginning in 2012. He was 19 at the time, and the alleged victim was eight years old.
The mother of the victim contacted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in January of this year after becoming aware of the alleged abuse that went on for months right under their roof.
The victim, now 16, began to “act out” in the months leading up to the allegations coming to light, according to the mother. She attributed her daughter’s behavior to typical teenage angst, but she would soon learn of the depraved actions the girl had been subjected to by a member of the family.
The victim had recently been sent to live with her biological father due to her behavior, and they had sought counseling through their church for those issues. It was then that she divulged to a church pastor the harrowing trauma Carcamo had allegedly inflicted on her when she was younger.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Chlarson gave a detailed account to the court on behalf of the prosecution regarding the statement the alleged victim gave to police on the day they were contacted.
The abusive behavior began after the defendant moved in with his father, the victim’s mother, the victim and her siblings in 2010. Carcamo’s father had begun a relationship with the victim’s mother, with the new family moving into a dwelling in Moreno Valley. It was here that the victim’s ordeal began.
According to the victim’s statement, the abuse began just before her ninth birthday in 2012, when Carcamo molested her for the first time. In graphic witness testimony, Deputy Chlarson described the victim’s retelling of how the defendant had inappropriately touched her genital area underneath her clothes, while warning her not to tell anyone of the incident or she would get in trouble.
The defendant would continue to engage in similar behavior with the victim during the course of the next year, with the victim estimating between eight and 10 incidents.
Allegedly, Carcamo sexually groomed the minor to comply with his requests, giving her instructions as to what to do Although the victim did not state there had been intercourse, the defendant did attempt to force her into oral copulation. She did not report the abuse due to fear of being punished, a fear which the defendant had instilled in her to protect himself.
The episodes occurred either in Carcamo’s bedroom, or the family’s living room while there were others present at the house, although no one suspected the abuse. It only stopped when the defendant began dating a girl, after which the incidents ceased completely. However, he would still make lewd comments to the victim, as they still resided in the same household, making her uncomfortable and fearful of his behavior.
The victim stated that she did not fully realize the magnitude of the abuse until a friend confided in her about her own similar experience. It took the victim almost a decade to be able to speak out about Carcamo’s predation. Child molestation charges are applicable up to 10 years after the victim turns 18, according to the statute of limitations in California.
After hearing witness testimony, Judge Magno found sufficient cause to hold Carcamo to answer for the felony counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child, lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, and sex with a child 10 years or younger for the attempted oral copulation.
If convicted by a jury, Carcamo faces 15 years to life in state prison. Arraignment is set for Sept. 2 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 41. Bail is set at $1 million.
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