Crime

Merced shooting victim testifies her father, a pastor, raped her repeatedly

A Merced woman allegedly shot by her adopted father told a Merced County jury on Thursday her father sexually assaulted her many times going back to when she was in kindergarten.

The woman, who was 17 at the time of her shooting on Oct. 28, 2016, was attempting to leave her home in the 4600 block of Beckman Way with her sister and her sister's boyfriend when their adopted father, 54-year-old Raul Diaz Moreno, shot the three of them, according to investigators. A more than two-hour standoff also ensued at the home.

All three victims survived their gunshot wounds, according to investigators.

Diaz Moreno, the former pastor of Victory Outreach church, faces 85 years to life in prison, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office reported. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder on the three victims and a slew of rape-related charges.

The woman said she had spoken to her sister through Facebook messages on the day of the shooting, and her sister came to take away from the home. The Beckman Way home and other places they lived had been the scene of physical and sexual abuse for many years, she said during testimony.

"I'm leaving. I'm not going to do this anymore," the woman said while remembering her thoughts on the day of the shooting. "I'm not going to take the physical and sexual abuse anymore."

Prosecutors said the 17-year-old girl had packed a bag and was leaving with her 19-year-old sister and the sister’s boyfriend. Authorities said the three victims were outside the home when Diaz Moreno opened fire, striking the 17-year-old in the leg, the 21-year-old in the upper torso and the 19-year-old in the face.

During testimony, the woman recounted stories of sex acts of different kinds forced on her and her sister. She broke down in tears often, occasionally asking Judge Ronald Hansen for breaks, and she could be heard sobbing outside of the courtroom.

Diaz Moreno threatened to hurt the sisters or himself if they ever told anyone of the abuse, the woman said during testimony.

His defense attorney questioned the alleged victim about the abuse and its timeframe. The woman's testimony was sometimes shaky with her not always being able to provide specific details.

On the day of the shooting, a police detective’s unmarked patrol car was struck at least twice during the standoff, investigators previously confirmed.

Testimony is set to continue on Friday.

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