Winery employee accused of kidnapping, drugging and raping Washington teen he met on Snapchat


A 37-year-old cellar master is accused of sexually assaulting a teen after helping her run away from her Pasco home.

The Benton City winery employee allegedly held the girl against her will, raped and drugged her taking her home, according to court documents.

Jose Marcelo-Bustos, 37, pleaded innocent on Wednesday to two counts of second-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping in Benton County Superior Court. His trial is set for May 20.

He is being held in the Benton County jail on $1 million bail in connection with the attack on March 14-15.

Marcelo-Bustos used the instant messaging app SnapChat to communicate with the girl, claiming he was 16, according to court documents.

On March 14, she had an argument with her parents and posted a picture about it, according to investigators. Marcelo-Bustos posted a message to ask if she wanted to hang out. She agreed.

He came to her house and picked her up and quickly realized that he looked to be in his 20s or 30s. According to court documents, she believed he wanted to be her friend and talk about her feelings.

Investigators later found evidence that he took her to the Upchurch Vineyard in Benton City, sheriff's Detective Sgt. Horacio Gonzalez told the Tri-City Herald..

Marcelo-Bustos was the cellar master for the winery, with access to the grounds including a bedroom and shower on the property.

When it started getting dark, the teen told Marcelo-Bustos she wanted to go home. He told her that she wasn't going anywhere, said court documents.

Marcelo-Bustos allegedly took her phone, turned off the location finder on both her SnapChat services and the cellphone and refused to give it back.

At one point, he made her at least three drinks of a "pink wine." The teen said she didn't feel like she had any control of herself. She later woke up naked.

She told detectives that she felt like she could have tried at some point to run away, but she could only see fields all around.

He made her take a shower, washed her clothes and took her home the next day.

At home, she appeared shaky. After initially not talking about what happened, she complained about pain and feeling dirty. She was taken to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco where a sexual assault kit was completed.

The incident also was reported to police. Richland detectives turned the investigation over to the sheriff's office once it was discovered where she'd been taken.

The internet archive site the Wayback Machine shows Marcelo-Bustos had worked at the winery since September 2022. He's also worked at other wineries in the Yakima Valley region.