BEAUMONT, Texas — Editor's Note: Video above is from his 2018 indictment.
A Mexican national living in Liberty has been sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for the 2018 kidnapping and rape of a Liberty woman.
Juan Carlos Saucedo-Meza, 22, was sentenced on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to 30 years and five months in a federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone, which was the maximum sentence, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Saucedo-Meza was found guilty after a three-day trial in April 2019 according to file stories.
Prosecutors presented information in court that Saucedo-Meza kidnapped a woman from Liberty, Texas and took her to Lake Charles, Louisiana against her will August 24 through August 25, 2018. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 5, 2018 and charged with kidnapping.
During the kidnapping he stopped the car in Jefferson County and raped the woman before continuing to Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to the release.
When he stopped for gas in lake Charles she escaped, locked herself in a bathroom and was able to get a phone and call 911 the release said.
“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,” the victim said in a written statement that was read during his sentencing.
His sentencing range was increased because the court found that an “obstruction of justice enhancement” applied to the sentence.
A recorded conversation in a police interview room showed that Saucedo-Meza aided his wife at the time in contacting the victim to offer a truck and money if she asked authorities to drop the case against him the release said.
From a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release…
A 22-year-old Mexican national living in Liberty, Texas, has been sentenced for federal kidnapping violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
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, 2019, 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, Texas and transported her to Lake Charles, LA, 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, Louisiana when he stopped for gas. She then locked herself in a bathroom at the gas station and obtained a phone to call 911.
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 Sep. 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.