Richard J. Masbruch

Mary K. and her mother, Marietta K., lived in an apartment complex in Fresno, California. Mary had managed the complex for over 10 years. At approximately 5 p.m. on April 2, 1991, defendant Richard James Masbruch came to the door to apply for an apartment. Mary gave defendant an application form to fill out and invited him into the apartment to get his name and phone number.

As defendant and Mary walked into the living room, defendant turned around and pointed a gun at her face. He told her to put her hands up and give him her purse. Mary explained she did not have a purse, and defendant asked to see her checkbook. Mary complied. Defendant set the checkbook down and told Mary to go into the kitchen. She assumed the gun was pointed at her head. He told her to lie facedown on the kitchen floor and tied her hands and feet with telephone cord. He then “hog-tied” her, tying her hands and feet together.

Marietta, Mary’s mother, then came downstairs. Defendant “polite[ly]” told her, “Your daughter wants to see you in the kitchen.” Marietta responded, “Oh, I wonder what she wants.” As Marietta entered the kitchen, she saw Mary on the floor, and said, “Oh, my God.” Mary told her, “Just do whatever he says to do, because he has a gun.”

Defendant sat Marietta on a kitchen chair and tied her hands and feet with a cloth parrot cage cover. He then said he wanted jewelry and money. The two women directed defendant to various locations of the house. After exploring each proposed area, defendant returned to the kitchen, and the women suggested another location. They “figured if [they] cooperated that he wouldn’t kill [them]. When he would go upstairs, [they] would talk and think of different places where money might be, so if he got enough that he would just leave [them] alone.” Mary “could only really see [defendant’s] feet” during most of this period.

Defendant then blindfolded the women. Mary noticed that “[i]t was quiet for awhile.” Defendant then turned Mary on her side. “t felt like he had taken a butcher knife and started at [her] knee and just ran it as slow as he could all the way down to [her] ankle. [She] was screaming, because it was . . . the most excruciating pain you could think of. It was like to the bone. [She] kept waiting to feel the fluid of the blood coming out and [she] didn’t feel it and [she] didn’t know what he’d done.” Defendant had apparently spliced several electrical cords together and shocked Mary with this makeshift instrument. Defendant also shocked Marietta’s right arm. After he finished, defendant said, “That’s a warning to show you what I can do to you.”

Defendant “unhogtied” Mary and went through her pockets for money. He then unzipped her pants. Mary said, “You’re not going to rape me?” Defendant said, “Shut up.” He forced his penis into her vagina. He complained that Mary “wasn’t cooperating,” and used his hands to stretch her vaginal area apart. He then sodomized her.

After the assault, Mary’s blindfold came off her left eye, enabling her to “see partially.” Defendant began smoking, swearing, and throwing objects. Mary testified, “I thought he was going to kill us then.” He “was in the butcher knife drawer.” She “figured maybe his gun broke or something,” and “was afraid . . . he was going to slit [their] throats.” Instead, defendant gagged Mary, threatened to kill the women if they ever called the police, and left. Mary did not see the gun again after defendant first pointed it at her. After discovering that she was bleeding profusely, Mary called the police.

The jury found defendant guilty of rape (§ 261, subd. (a)(2)), sodomy (§ 286, subd. (c)), first degree burglary (§ 459, 460), two counts of residential robbery (§ 211, 212.5, subd. (a)), two counts of false imprisonment (§ 236), and two counts of torture (§ 206). It further found that defendant used a firearm (§ 12022.3(a)) and inflicted great bodily injury (§ 12022.8) in the commission of the rape and the sodomy, and that he personally used a firearm (§ 12022.5, subd. (a) (§ 12022.5(a))) in the commission of the burglary, robberies, and false imprisonment. The jury also found that defendant committed the burglary and one of the robberies against a person 60 years of age or older, and that he inflicted great bodily injury upon that person. The court sentenced defendant to serve two consecutive life terms for the torture counts, to be served following a total determinate term of fortyfive years and four months for the other offenses and enhancements. As relevant here, the sentence included two 4-year enhancements under section 12022.3(a) for use of a firearm in the commission of the rape and sodomy. The court also imposed a $10,000 restitution fine and an additional $100 fine under section 290.3.

Masbruch, who was reclassified by prison officials as a woman after he castrated himself, is the focus of an inmate complaint that says Masbruch is a danger to other prisoners at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.  In recent years, the prison system has given female hormones to Masbruch, helping Masbruch transition from man to woman, said his brother, Craig Masbruch. Prison officials would not confirm whether Masbruch received such treatment, but said the prison system provides hormone treatment to some transgender inmates at taxpayers’ expense.

Officials said that in March they transferred Masbruch, 41, to Chowchilla after he was reclassified as a female.

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