Crime

North Myrtle Beach man arrested after woman physically, sexually abused at store for months, police said

The operator of La Raza De La Paz Hispanic Grocery store in North Myrtle Beach was arrested for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree Monday, according to police reports. A woman told North Myrtle Beach police that Raul Gilberto Arvizu-Huerta held her in a back room and assaulted her for months.
The operator of La Raza De La Paz Hispanic Grocery store in North Myrtle Beach was arrested for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree Monday, according to police reports. A woman told North Myrtle Beach police that Raul Gilberto Arvizu-Huerta held her in a back room and assaulted her for months. jlee@thesunnews

A woman told North Myrtle Beach police she was sexually and physically assaulted for months by a man who operates a Mexican store where she was allegedly being held in a backroom, according to a police report.

Raul Gilberto 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.

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.

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.

The victim was taken to Seacoast Hospital in Little River where an examination was done April 20, and evidence was gathered at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, according to the report.

On Monday, North Myrtle Beach police obtained arrest warrants for Arvizu-Huerta and took him into custody at La Raza De La Paz, the report states.

Police also executed a search warrant and seized eight cellphones, an iPod, multiple identifications of different individuals – including multiple identifications for Arvizu-Huerta – computers, video surveillance and ladies underwear at the store, according to the report.

Pat Dowling, North Myrtle Beach city spokesman, said the case is still under investigation.

Arvizu-Huerta is being held at the North Myrtle Beach Jail without bond, authorities said.

Elizabeth Townsend: 843-626-0217, @TSN_etownsend

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