A Cayucos firefighter with a “slave contract” on his computer forced a teenager to have sex with him as often as five times a day during a one-month span, according to court testimony Wednesday.
After a preliminary hearing, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge John Trice ruled that there was sufficient evidence to pursue 33 charges — including several counts of forcible rape — against 39-year-old Oscar Higueros Jr.
According to court testimony from Clint Cole, a senior deputy with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Higueros — then a paid volunteer captain with the Cayucos Fire Department — met the 17-year-old Los Osos girl through a Craigslist ad. That ad, Cole said, had been placed by Richard Scott Brooks, a Bay Area man who had met the girl through a previous Craigslist ad and was attempting to prostitute her to other men while her mother was away on vacation.
Brooks, 39, faces close to two dozen charges related to the case.
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Both he and Higueros have pleaded not guilty.
Cole said Higueros paid Brooks $150 to have sex with the girl, who was referred to in court as Jane Doe. When the teen’s mother returned from vacation, the girl and mother fought over the messy house, and the mother struck the girl in the face, Cole said. Upset, the girl called Higueros, she told Cole, and asked to stay with him, beginning in July.
Initially, the girl said, Higueros was “her hero,” and sex between them was consensual. But soon, Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt said in his opening remarks, she became a sex slave.
“She could never say no,” Devitt said. “She could never leave. She could never protest.”
Higueros wanted the girl to call him Daddy, Cole testified, while he referred to her as “Little Kitty” and “Kitten.”
“He started calling her his slave,” Cole said.
Whenever he became angry at her, the girl allegedly told Cole, Higueros would commit what she called “hate rape.” At times, she said, that included putting a belt around her neck and pulling it tighter as he forced her to have sex. If she protested to anything, Higueros allegedly said, “Daddy gets what Daddy wants.”
Higueros forced the girl to do cocaine, smoke pot and drink alcohol, Cole said, and he made videos of their sex, which he planned to sell online. The girl was also forced to make coffee, clean the house and fold the laundry, Cole said. If she didn’t do any of the chores exactly the way Higueros wanted, she would be slapped.
“She said he slapped her numerous times,” Cole testified.
During the investigation, Patrick Zuchelli, a sheriff’s detective, said Higueros’ computer was searched and investigators found a document labeled “Master-Slave Contract,” outlining duties he expected his slave to do. The girl said Higueros wanted her to sign the contract, but she refused, Zuchelli said.
Investigators contacted several other women Higueros had relationships with, said sheriff’s investigators Douglas Scotto and Sonja O’Donohoe. They, too, said Higueros punished them for perceived wrongs by forcing sex on them, at times pulling a belt around their necks during the act.
One of those women told investigators that Higueros made her call him “master” and forced her to wash dishes in boiling water. Another said Higueros once strangled her so hard, one of her eyes turned red.
While charges have not been filed in those cases, testimony from those women can be used to corroborate statements from the Los Osos teen, Devitt said after the hearing.
The teen stayed with Higueros for roughly a month. Cole testified that Higueros would not allow the girl to leave and threatened to kill her if she told police what he’d done.
“She said she felt afraid to leave,” Cole testified.
Witnesses did not say if the teen left the home before Higueros was arrested.
Law enforcement became involved when a third party, not named in the hearing, notified them.
Higueros will return to court Feb. 11.