A 19-year-old Palmdale man has been arrested after he allegedly held his girlfriend against her will for 10 days and sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
Deputies responded to Charter Court on Saturday to investigate a report of a missing person, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. While gathering information, the deputies learned that, on Dec. 25, a 19-year-old female resident of the location had been taken against her will by her boyfriend, who is also the father of her child, the statement said.
“The victim’s mother apparently witnessed the assault and kidnapping, but did not call police because she was in fear of the suspect, who had already threatened harm to her daughter and the child,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
The alleged crime was not reported until the teenage woman’s father drove from Compton to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday to report his daughter missing.
An investigation led deputies to the 1100 block of East Avenue Q-4 (map). While searching the location, they found the suspect and detained him.
The deputies subsequently discovered the victim at the same location. “She was hidden inside [an] apartment and appeared extremely fearful,” the statement said.
The suspect was identified as Giovanni McKinnis of Palmdale. He was arrested and booked on a number of felony charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, domestic violence, violating a restraining order, and false imprisonment, according to Sheriff’s Department.
“The assault included being choked to the point of losing consciousness and beaten about her body,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Hudson.
McKinnis was booked into the Palmdale Station, where he was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to the department’s Inmate Information Center website.
“There’s no doubt in our minds that if the deputies … had not intervened last night, this victim probably would have ended up dead,” Hudson said Sunday.
In an interview, McKinnis’ grandmother insisted that her grandson is innocent.
“They said Giovanni is being charged with kidnapping and rape — and that’s not Giovanni at all,” Frieda McKinnis told KTLA, adding that her grandson had been trying to gain legal custody of his son.
“She came over of her own accord, to pick up some belongings,” Frieda McKinnis said, referring to the alleged victim. “He tried to get her to leave, and she wouldn’t leave. And then the police came.”