In a shocking case that has garnered national attention, a Texas man has been indicted for the kidnapping and repeated assault of a 13-year-old girl during a road trip. The man allegedly approached the victim on a street in San Antonio, brandishing a black handgun and forcing her into his car. He then drove her from Texas to California, sexually assaulting her multiple times along the way. The harrowing incident came to an end when the victim managed to secretly communicate her distress to a witness, who alerted law enforcement. The accused individual now faces charges of kidnapping and transportation of a minor for criminal sexual activity, and if convicted, could be sentenced to life in federal prison.
Texas Man Indicted for Kidnapping and Assaulting Minor on Road Trip
The official government website recently reported a disturbing incident involving a 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted during a road trip from Texas to California. The perpetrator, Steven Robert Sablan, a 61-year-old man from Cleburne, Texas, was apprehended in Long Beach, California. He has been charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Charges and Arrest
Sablan’s alleged crimes came to light after a witness noticed the victim in a car with the suspect and became suspicious. The witness promptly contacted law enforcement, who arrived at the scene and discovered the victim mouthing the word “Help” inside the car. Subsequently, officers found a black BB gun, a “Help me” sign, and a pair of handcuffs during a search of the vehicle. The Cleburne Police Department in Texas provided assistance in Sablan’s arrest.
Details of the Incident
Kidnapping at Gunpoint
According to court documents, the horrifying ordeal began on July 6 in San Antonio, Texas, when Sablan allegedly approached the victim in a gray Nissan Sentra. The victim, who was walking down a street, was confronted by Sablan, who brandished a black handgun and threatened to harm her if she did not get into the car. Fearing for her life, the victim complied with Sablan’s demands.
Transportation and Sexual Assault
Once inside the car, Sablan began driving and asked the victim about her age. When she revealed she was only 13 years old, Sablan reportedly informed her about a plan to take her to a cruise ship so she could visit a friend in Australia. However, he claimed that she would have to do something for him first. Sablan proceeded to sexually assault the victim repeatedly during the course of their journey to California, which spanned over two days.
Road Trip to California
Sablan allegedly drove the victim from Texas to California, committing multiple sexual assaults along the way. Their journey ended when they arrived in Long Beach, where Sablan parked the car in a lot to wash their clothes at a laundromat.
Attempted Cry for Help
While Sablan was inside the laundromat, the victim, who remained in the car, seized a moment of opportunity to alert someone to her dire situation. She wrote “Help me!” on a piece of paper with the hope of catching someone’s attention. Thankfully, a witness noticed the distress signal, promptly phoned the authorities, and aided in the rescue of the victim.
Charges and Maximum Sentence
The indictment against Sablan includes one count of kidnapping and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. If convicted on both charges, Sablan could face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison. It is important to note that an indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Presumption of Innocence
As the legal process unfolds, it is crucial to remember that Sablan is entitled to the presumption of innocence. This fundamental legal principle ensures that he is treated as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution, who must establish Sablan’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Investigation and Assistance
Law Enforcement Agencies Involved
The investigation into this heinous crime was a joint effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Long Beach Police Department. These two agencies collaborated meticulously to gather evidence, execute arrests, and ensure the safety of the victim.
Assisting Police Department
The Cleburne Police Department in Texas provided invaluable assistance in the arrest of Sablan. Their collaboration with other law enforcement agencies played a crucial role in bringing the perpetrator to justice.
Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea Norell of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is responsible for prosecuting this case. With their expertise and dedication, they will work tirelessly to ensure that justice is served for the victim.
Case Trial and Arraignment
Sablan’s arraignment is scheduled for July 31 in the United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles. During the trial, the prosecution will present evidence and arguments to prove Sablan’s guilt, while the defense will advocate for Sablan’s innocence. The court will ultimately determine the outcome of the trial based on the evidence presented and the applicable laws.
Public Information Officer
For more information or media inquiries related to this case, please contact Ciaran McEvoy, Public Information Officer at the U.S. Department of Justice. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone and Email Contact
If you wish to contact the U.S. Department of Justice, you can call their main line at (213) 894-4465. This line is monitored by their Public Information Officer, who can assist with any inquiries or provide relevant information.
Related Press Releases
Fountain Valley Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Murder
In a separate press release issued by the Central District of California, an Orange County man was sentenced to life in federal prison for the murder of an individual whose body was found floating in the Pacific Ocean. This case highlights the commitment of law enforcement and the justice system in holding criminals accountable for their actions.
Lead Defendant Extradited from Romania in Federal Case
Another significant event reported by the Central District of California involves the extradition of a lead defendant from Romania. The defendant, who is allegedly affiliated with a white supremacy extremist group, has been charged with planning and engaging in riots at political rallies across California. This extradition underscores the global effort to combat organized crime and ensure the safety and security of communities.
L.A. Harbor Area Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison
In yet another press release, a man from the L.A. Harbor Area received a sentence of 15 years in federal prison for an armed robbery spree targeting businesses in the South Bay area. This case exemplifies the determination of law enforcement to protect local businesses and uphold the rule of law.
Central District of California
For more information about the Central District of California and its role in upholding justice, you can contact their office at the following address:
- Address: 312 North Spring Street Suite 1200, Los Angeles, California 90012
- Phone: (213) 894-2400
- Fax: (213) 894-0141
To stay up to date with the latest news and updates from the Central District of California, you can follow them on various social media platforms. Connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn for timely information and valuable insights into their work.
In conclusion, the indictment and arrest of Steven Robert Sablan reveal a disturbing and deeply concerning case of kidnapping and assault against a minor. The diligent efforts of law enforcement agencies led to the successful apprehension of Sablan and ensured the safety and rescue of the victim. As this case progresses through the legal system, it is essential to recognize the presumption of innocence and the importance of a fair and just trial. The United States Department of Justice and the Central District of California remain committed to safeguarding communities, seeking justice, and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.