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Man Accused Of Holding Girl Against Her Will On SJ Light-Rail Train

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Police say 23-year-old Merced Pacheco held a girl against her will on a light rail train in San Jose on May 1, 2012. (Santa Clara County Sheriff)

Police say 23-year-old Merced Pacheco held a girl against her will on a light rail train in San Jose on May 1, 2012. (Santa Clara County Sheriff)

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A fare inspector came to the aid of a female minor who told the transit official she was being held against her will on a light-rail vehicle in San Jose Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

While checking proof of payment on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority train at the Orchard light-rail station at 2995 North First St., fare inspectors found a girl who had an expired VTA youth pass and no identification on her, sheriff’s officials said.

A man with her also did not have proof of payment and both were asked to deboard the train.

Off the train the girl told a fare inspector she was being held against her will by the man, which prompted a call to the sheriff’s transit patrol.

Officers arrived and arrested 23-year-old Merced Pacheco, of Santa Clara, on suspicion of unlawful intercourse with a minor and false imprisonment.

The girl, who was listed as a missing person, was taken into protective custody, sheriff’s officials said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Schiller in a statement today praised the fare inspectors for their help preventing a potential “heinous crime from continuing.”

The case also highlighted VTA’s “Safe Place” program, which aims to provide residents with a refuge to ask for assistance from any transit employee no matter the situation.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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