Two Held for 2001 Rape of Japanese Student in Oxnard

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OXNARD — The Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday the arrest of two men in connection with a rape and kidnapping case that occurred almost 11 years ago.

On Aug. 12, 2001, a 17-year-old international exchange student from Japan was walking in the area of Rose Avenue and Lindsay Place when she was grabbed by a male suspect. Two men in a car kidnapped her, took her to an unknown location and sexually assaulted her.

As part of the investigation, two DNA profiles were collected from the victim. One DNA sample was matched to Martin Hernandez Padilla, 32, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The other sample did not match anyone in any current law enforcement database; the identity of the second suspect was not known.

On Feb. 7, Orange County sheriff’s deputies discovered that they had Padilla in custody in their facility; he was arrested because of the warrant. They notified the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Padilla was extradited from the Orange County jail to Ventura County.

Ventura County district attorney investigators conducted several interviews that led to another possible suspect. They interviewed Oswaldo Hernandez Pinaloza, 29, and had probable cause to arrest him in the rape case. Both Padilla and Pinaloza are currently being held in the Ventura County jail.

The victim returned to Japan in 2001. Investigators are in contact with her in the event she is needed for the prosecution.

Investigators believe there may be other victims of sexual assault or attempted kidnapping by these two suspects who have not yet come forward. If you have information in this case, or believe you were a victim, notify the Oxnard Police Department’s family protection unit at (805) 385-7620.

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