A Rio Rico man who kidnapped and raped a woman he met online was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
Daniel James Beltran, 33, was sentenced on Jan. 13 at Santa Cruz County Superior Court after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault, a Class 2 felony. He was given credit for 444 days already served.
Court records show that Beltran and his victim had a brief consensual relationship in late 2018. But when a male friend called the woman in Beltran’s presence, he became upset and began insulting her.
He later apologized and convinced the woman to come pick him up at his home in Rio Rico. However, when she started driving north on Interstate 19, he struck her in the face and told her to drive south instead. He reportedly threatened to have people rape the woman’s daughter if she didn’t follow his instructions, and he took away her cell phone as well.
Beltran ordered the woman to drive to a motel in Nogales and gave her cash to rent a room. Once in the room, he reportedly punched, choked and bit her, as well as raping her multiple times.
Beltran eventually brought the woman home and told her daughter to wash her mother’s clothes. The woman showed her daughter multiple bruises and said Beltran had physically and sexually assaulted her.
Beltran said he was taking his victim hiking on Mount Lemmon, and when the daughter urged her mother not to go with him, she said he had threatened to hurt her if she didn’t.
When they left, the daughter called the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and said her mother had been kidnapped by a man she met on an online dating site.
Beltran was subsequently arrested at a fast food restaurant in Oro Valley. The case was referred to the Nogales Police Department and he was prosecuted in the Santa Cruz County court system.
Despite his guilty plea, Beltran reportedly insisted during his pre-sentence interview that he was innocent.