A Santa Monica couple have been arrested for allegedly holding a mentally challenged man against his will and abusing him at their home, police said.

Santa Monica police were notified March 23 that a 26-year-old man with a diminished mental capacity had been dropped off at a hospital in Culver City March 20. The man was admitted and treated for injuries suffered from a severe assault and he was later transported to another local hospital for advanced medical care, Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler said.

Physicians told a Santa Monica police officer March 23 that the man appeared to be emaciated and suffered from numerous cuts, abrasions, and contusions over his entire body, including his genitalia, Trisler said. Further examination revealed that the victim had numerous new tattoos and appeared to have lost 60 to 80 pounds of weight, Trisler said.

The man told the officer that he had been held against his will at a residence in the 3000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, where he was allegedly assaulted and tortured repeatedly, Trisler said.

After serving a search warrant at the home, Santa Monica Police Department detectives arrested live-in couple Francisco Gerardo Rodriquez, 25, and Maria Leyva Jasmilet, 26. During the arrest, the suspects’ two children, ages 5 and 7, were taken into protective custody and placed with the Department of Children and Family Services, Trisler said.

Rodriquez was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem, torture and abuse of a dependent adult; while Jasmilet was booked for abuse of a dependent adult, police said. The suspects are of no relation to the victim.

Detectives believe the alleged assault of the victim occurred over a period of six months at the home, Trisler said. Police are continuing to investigate a possible motive for the suspected assault.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959, Investigator Hee Seok Ahn at (310) 458-8452 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call We-Tip at (800) 782-7463.

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