Local

Sexual misconduct, kidnapping allegations shock store’s customers

Sexual misconduct allegations shock store's customers

Brandy Taylor used to get her checks cashed at the North Myrtle Beach store where Raul Gilberto Arvizu-Huerta allegedly help and sexually abused a woman for months. She said she always thought there was something "off" about Arvizu-Huerta, but she
Up Next
Brandy Taylor used to get her checks cashed at the North Myrtle Beach store where Raul Gilberto Arvizu-Huerta allegedly help and sexually abused a woman for months. She said she always thought there was something "off" about Arvizu-Huerta, but she

Days after a woman told police she was being physically and sexually abused by her kidnapper, the La Raza De La Paz Mexican store in North Myrtle Beach remains shuttered and dark. Customers drove past slowly and some even tried the locked doors Wednesday afternoon, unsure of why the owner wasn’t around.

One former customer was “shocked” to hear Raul Gilberto Arvizu-Huerta, the store’s owner, is accused of sexually abusing a woman in the back of his store for months.

Arvizu-Huerta, 47, of North Myrtle Beach was arrested Monday and is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and first-degree assault and battery, according jail records.

We had talked about how we thought he could be a rapist before, but we didn’t think it would be something like this.

Brandy Taylor, N.C. resident who cashed checks at Arvizu-Huerta’s store

Brandy Taylor, of Holden Beach, N.C., regularly used Arvizu-Heurta’s business to cash checks for less than a bank would charge. She had no idea about any of the allegations until she saw the locked doors and “closed” sign on the North Myrtle Beach business Wednesday afternoon.

“I always felt like something was off, but I had no idea it was something like this,” Taylor said.

The case remains under investigation, according to North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.

The first time Taylor used Arvizu-Heurta’s check-cashing services, he offered her money for sex, she said. He also tried to pull her pants down, so she made sure to always have a man with her when she needed to cash a check. She was always uncomfortable with Arvixu-Heurta, she said, but never saw anything suspicious – especially since she never went past the cash register.

“I always just figured that he was a perverted man, but I didn’t expect anything like this,” Taylor said.

The victim told police she feared for her life and felt trapped, police said.

Arvizu-Huerta was denied bond Tuesday and will face a circuit court judge for another bond hearing at a later date, according to court records. He is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

North Myrtle Beach police were contacted by a woman who took the victim in, and the victim told authorities she was brought into the country by Arvizu-Huerta in September, according to the police report.

The victim, whose age was not listed, told police she resided in a backroom at La Raza De La Paz Mexican store at 1205 U. S. 17, and that Arvizu-Huerta began “violently” physically and sexually assaulting her on a regular basis about two weeks after she arrived, according to the report.

He always asked if I needed money, he was always telling me that if I needed anything to call him. I always thought something was off.

Brandy Taylor, N.C. resident who cashed checks at Arvizu-Huerta’s store

She also told police Arvizu-Huerta forced her to perform lewd and lascivious sexual acts with other women as well as with Arvizu-Huerta, authorities said.

She said if she didn’t do what she was told, Arvizu-Huerta beat her with his belt, police said. The victim also said Arvizu-Huerta held her against her will and would not let her leave the store without him, and that he strictly controlled who she spoke to and came into contact with, according to the report.

She said she was mentally, physically and sexually abused excessively, police said.

Arvizu-Huerta kept her Visa and passport in his possession and allowed her Visa to expire while she was with him, according to the report.

The victim told police she feared for her life and felt trapped, police said.

As for Taylor, she said she’s going to avoid another small business before cashing checks any time soon.

“I’m going to stick to the bank,” she said.

Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN

Related stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News

  Comments