News and Press Releases

Oxnard Man Who Kidnapped Former Girlfriend and Threatened to Kill Her in Mexico is Sentenced to over 24 Years in Federal Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES – A Ventura County man who kidnapped his former girlfriend
and drove her to Mexico while threatening to kill her and dump her body was sentenced
this morning to 293 months in federal prison.

Rudy Soto, 26, of Oxnard, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D.
Wright II.

Soto was convicted following a week-long jury trial in July 2012 of conspiring to
kidnap and kidnapping. The evidence at trial showed that after a heated exchange
between Soto and the victim on September 14, 2010, Soto traveled from Oxnard to the
victim’s residence near downtown Los Angeles. When the victim refused to accompany
him, Soto carried and dragged the victim, who was screaming and kicking him, to a
waiting truck that was being driven by co-defendant Erin Nicole Fisher, 22. Soto, using
the weight of his body, pinned the victim to the front passenger seat while Fisher drove
the vehicle to Mexico.

During this drive, Soto told the victim he was taking her to Mexico, where she
was going to die. Soto also contacted the victim’s family and advised her brother-in-law
that he was taking the victim to Tijuana and would dump her there. When the victim
tried to fight or escape, Soto held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.
Eventually, the victim accepted that she was going to be killed, and gave up trying to
fight Soto and escape. During her testimony, she told the jury: “I was tired, and I just
resigned myself. And I said if he is going to kill me, let him kill me.”

At the Otay Mesa checkpoint at the United States-Mexico border, Mexican
authorities stopped the pickup truck, which prompted the victim to scream for help. After
telling Mexican authorities about her plight and being threatened with a knife, Mexican
authorities detained Soto, Fisher and the victim. After the victim was examined by a
Mexican army physician, she was released. Agents with United States Customs and
Border Protection helped return her to the United States.

“To carry out his plan, [Spoto] physically restrained her, struck her, terrorized her,
and threatened to kill her with a knife that he brandished,”prosecutors wrote in a
sentencing memo. “In addition, he psychologically tortured the victim, playing on her
emotions and the nature of their tumultuous relationship.”

Fisher is being prosecuted separately and is participating in a court-ordered
diversionary program.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which
received substantial assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of
International Affairs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Los Angeles Police
Department, the FBI’s Legal Attache in Mexico City, and officials with the Justice
Department and the State Department assigned to the United States Embassy in
Mexico.

Mexican authorities provided considerable assistance during this investigation,
including the Secretaría de Marina - Armada de México (the Mexican Navy); the
Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (the Mexican Army); and the Procuraduría General
de la República (the Mexican Attorney General).

Release No. 13-112

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