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Rudy Farias Says Mom 'Brainwashed' Him for 8 Years

But 'missing' Houston man denies reports he was sexually assaulted
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2023 7:29 AM CDT
'Missing' Houston Man Says He Was Brainwashed by Mom
The home of Rudy Farias' mother is shown on Thursday, July 6, 2023 in Houston.   (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Rudy Farias says he felt like he was "brainwashed" by his mother to go along with her lies for eight years. Police in Houston say Farias, then 17, returned home one day after he was reported missing in 2015 but mother Janie Santana continued to insist he was missing—and told her son he would be arrested if police found him. "She never locked me in or handcuffed me or anything like that," Farias tells KTRK. "I had free will to leave. It just felt like brainwashing me. It just kept confusing me, the way she would manipulate me into saying, 'You're going to get arrested.'" He says he rarely left the home during the eight years he was thought to be missing, except to go to work with his mother.

Farias, 25, says remarks he made to community activist Quanell X were misinterpreted and he wasn't sexually assaulted by his mother, though she definitely crossed boundaries. "I used to have to sleep in her bed sometimes," he says. "Boundaries she would push or make me uncomfortable, and I would say 'Stop,' and she would say, 'Why? Why? Why? I didn't do anything wrong.'" He says he felt like he was in prison and had to stay hidden even when family members visited. After Farias was found outside a church earlier this month, neighbors said they had seen him at the home over the years.

Farias, who is contact with victim support services, no longer wishes to have any contact with his mother, the only close relative he had left after the deaths of his father and half-brother, KTRK reports. "I just want to live my life," he says. "I want to have a family, a car, a house. I just want to live my life and be happy." Farias, who asked interviewers not to show his face in TV broadcasts, says he wants to help out his community, the Houston Chronicle reports. "I don't want this to happen to other people," he says. Houston Police Lt. Christopher Zamora says prosecutors have so far declined to press charges against Santana but that could change as the investigation continues, NPR reports. (More Texas stories.)

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