Ventura man charged with bringing teen from Mexico to California for sex

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VENTURA, Calif. — A Ventura man has been charged with allegedly bringing a teenage girl to the U.S. from Mexico, and raping her once she got here, officials announced Friday.

Gerardo Hernandez Cruz, 31, has been charged with three felonies, including human trafficking of a minor and forcible rape.

Cruz was arrested on May 9. Deputies said that on that day, the department got a 911 text tip in the Casitas Springs area, about eight miles north of Ventua, from an underage girl. Deputies interviewed the girl when they got there. According to the girl, Cruz had brought her to Ventura County from Mexico. She also alleged Cruz raped her when they got to the U.S.

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Deputies arrested Cruz. In addition to the felony counts, Cruz has also been charged with four special allegations, including that the victim was "particularly vulnerable." Cruz was arraigned on May 13 and pleaded not guilty.

Cruz is being held on $500,000 bail.