A 22-year-old Mexican national living in Liberty, has been sentenced for federal kidnapping violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown last month.
Juan Carlos Saucedo-Meza was found guilty by a jury on April 24, 2019 of kidnapping and was sentenced to 365 months in federal prison on Oct. 30 by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.
According to information presented in court, beginning on Aug. 24 and continuing into the early hours of Aug. 25, 2018, Saucedo-Meza kidnapped a woman from Liberty and transported her to Lake Charles, Louisiana against her will.
Saucedo-Meza stopped the vehicle in Jefferson County where the woman was raped and assaulted. The victim escaped Saucedo-Meza in Lake Charles when he stopped for gas. She then locked herself in a bathroom at the gas station and obtained a phone to call 9-1-1.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Judge Crone found that Saucedo-Meza’s sentencing range was 292 months to 365 months imprisonment, but elected to sentence him to 365 months imprisonment. The potential sentencing range which Saucedo-Meza faced was increased in the case because the court found that an obstruction of justice enhancement applied to sentencing. A recording of a conversation in a police interview room revealed that the defendant aided another woman, to whom he was married at the time, in attempting to contact the victim and offering her a truck and money if the victim requested authorities to dismiss the case.
Saucedo-Meza was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 5, 2018 and charged with kidnapping.
A statement written by the victim was read during sentencing concluded, “The time of imprisonment that you receive will never be enough for the harm that you have caused me, but it brings a sort of comfort to know that you are no longer free.”
“This was a violent assault, and no doubt will affect the victim of this crime forever,” said United States Attorney Joe Brown. “The fact that the defendant tampered with a witness shows that the defendant had no remorse, will continue to engage in criminal conduct, and it attacks the criminal justice system.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Charles Police Department, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher T. Tortorice and K. P. Kennedy Gates.