Two headed to trial for Fresno rape, torture and murder case

Two suspects appear headed to trial as police outline their roles in a disturbing case of kidnapping, rape, torture and murder.
February 25, 2014 4:39:39 PM PST
Two suspects appear headed to trial as police outline their roles in a disturbing case of kidnapping, rape, torture and murder.

A judge ruled Tuesday there is enough evidence for Anthony Nunez and Margaret Alaniz to stand trial for torture and murder.

The torture victim survived and told her story of a week's captivity only on Action News. She said Alaniz led the way on most of the torture, but prosecutors say Nunez was just as responsible.

Behind the curtains of this Central Fresno home, police say Margaret Alaniz and Anthony Nunez imprisoned and tortured a woman for a week. The victim showed the scars of her captivity in an exclusive interview with Action News shortly after she got out of the hospital last August.

Both Alaniz and Nunez are charged with torture for the burns, cuts, and infections -- even though, as Nunez's attorney pointed out, the woman blamed Alaniz for most of the abuse.

"Being beaten, being kicked, being cut with a sword, being hit in the head with a bottle, being tied up -- at no point did she ever indicate Mr. Nunez had done any of those things to her, correct?" asked Nunez's attorney Amy Guerra.

"That's correct," replied Fresno police detective Ray Villalvazo.

The woman told us a man who was supposed to guard her, Oscar Seja, raped her. The sexual assault apparently turned enemies into allies. Police say her captors killed Seja and she helped Nunez bury the man under the house.

Alaniz told police she had a flashback to being raped herself and went berserk. And Nunez seemed to have sympathy for the captive woman.

"He fed her," Guerra said. "He gave her water. I don't think in any way there's evidence to support the idea that his actions supported his carrying out of great bodily injury."

But while his attorney downplayed Nunez's role in the torture, police say he was there as it happened. And they say he did nothing to stop it. In fact, Alaniz told them he took pleasure in it.

"She more explained that he just enjoyed watching her inflict that on the victim," detective Villalvazo said.

Alaniz and Nunez are now due back in court next month. They're both facing life in prison if they're convicted.


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