Bail set at $100,000 on man held in LSU area rapes

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK --  East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Lt. Roger Corcoran, left, and Baton Rouge Police Detective John Meliet escort Isai Efrain Garcia-Vasquez, 22, to a waiting police vehicle at the 1st District Precinct after he was arrested for rape and 2nd degree kidnapping earlier today, Friday, June 13, 2014. Baton Rouge Police stopped Garcia-Vasquez near the LSU area early this morning after receiving information linking the vehicle he was occupying to a rape that occurred outside the city limits on June 8, 2014. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Lt. Roger Corcoran, left, and Baton Rouge Police Detective John Meliet escort Isai Efrain Garcia-Vasquez, 22, to a waiting police vehicle at the 1st District Precinct after he was arrested for rape and 2nd degree kidnapping earlier today, Friday, June 13, 2014. Baton Rouge Police stopped Garcia-Vasquez near the LSU area early this morning after receiving information linking the vehicle he was occupying to a rape that occurred outside the city limits on June 8, 2014.

Bail of $100,000 was set Monday for the 22-year-old suspected of kidnapping two women from Tigerland bars and raping them, as new details start to emerge.

Isai Efrain Garcia-Vasquez, last known address of 450 Cloud Drive, Apt. 85, Baton Rouge, but originally from Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Mexico, is being held in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two counts each of forcible rape and second-degree kidnapping in the rapes that occurred on July 8 and June 8.

Court documents show that a blue Honda caught on traffic camera footage during the 2013 rape was similar in shape, size and color to the 1993 blue Honda Civic that Garcia-Vasquez was driving when he was arrested Friday.

The kidnapping and rape accusations shocked one friend of Garcia-Vasquez.

“Nobody suspected,” said José Eliceo Botello Jr., 19, who said he has known Garcia-Vasquez for a few years. The allegations “took us by surprise.”

Botello said Garcia-Vasquez — whose nickname is “Flaco,” which means “skinny” in Spanish — used to brag about the women he met and texted on his phone.

Garcia-Vasquez used to attend church services at El Aposento Alto Church near Gardere Lane and even attended three or four church retreats, Botello said. He said he thought Garcia-Vasquez attended services because he was interested in religion, but now he is not so sure.

Garcia-Vasquez, who has been living in the U.S. for about six years, was also a decent soccer player who played pick-up games at Premier Soccer Center in St. Gabriel, Botello said.

It was not clear as of Monday whether Garcia-Vasquez was living in this country legally.

On Friday, Baton Rouge police stopped Garcia-Vasquez in the 4000 block of Perkins Road near LSU after seeing him drive back and forth several times in front of the bar where the victim in the June 8 rape had been kidnapped, the affidavit of probable cause says. The officer recognized the Honda as one matching the description of the car used in the 2013 rape and pulled it over after seeing a broken tail light.

During the stop, police found condoms similar to the ones found from the June 8 rape. Garcia-Vasquez told police he was going to buy a pack of cigarettes, the affidavit says.

DNA results from the State Police Crime Lab matched Garcia-Vasquez to both rapes, police have said.

Garcia-Vasquez admitted to the June 8 rape but denied the 2013 rape, police have said.

The 2013 rape involved a woman who went to Reggie’s Bar in Tigerland and blacked out after drinking too much.

Later, she got into a car with three men for a ride home, but suspected something was wrong when the driver did not turn toward her sister’s home while crossing Bluebonnet Boulevard, records show. The victim called her sister and father while in the car, and one of the men in the car spoke with the victim’s sister on the victim’s phone.

Eventually, the men stopped the car on La. 75 in St. Gabriel near the Mississippi River levee, where a back-seat passenger dragged her out of the car and raped her on a grassy area by the road.

She was found the next morning by a passerby, who later gave police a description of the vehicle seen leaving the area where the victim was found.

Almost one year later, on June 8, Garcia-Vasquez offered to give a woman walking on East Boyd Drive near Tigerland a ride home, another affidavit of probable cause says. Instead of bringing her home, he drove her to a BREC park on River Road where she pleaded for him to bring her home.

The affidavit does not say which BREC park he took her to, but the only BREC park on River Road is the Farr Park Equestrian Center at 6402 River Road.

After he threatened to kill her, she leapt out of the car, trying to escape, the affidavit says. But Garcia-Vasquez dragged her back to the side of her car, where he forced her onto the ground and raped her as she screamed for him to stop.

Police have not connected Garcia-Vasquez to any other rapes, police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. said Monday, but the investigation is continuing.

Follow Ryan Broussard on Twitter, @ryanmbroussard.