MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Cosmetic surgeon Joel Mendez was arrested for rape and attempted rape, police said Friday.
Mendez, who owns a string of beauty clinics, was arrested on Thursday night and was detained at the Mandaluyong Police Station, Sr. Supt. Moises Villaceran Jr, chief of the city police, confirmed to ABS-CBN News.
The celebrity doctor had a warrant of arrest on a count of attempted rape and 2 counts of rape, said Villaceran.
He was arrested at the basement parking of a condominium tower in Mandaluyong City after several months of surveillance and stakeout operation, a statement from the Eastern Police District said.
He is now out on bail, according to Villaceran.
The warrant of arrest, a copy of which was shared to ABS-CBN News by the alleged victim's relative, stated that the bail was set at P120,000 for each case.
The warrant was issued 2 years ago, according to the relative.
She told ABS-CBN News that her niece was "violated" by Mendez when she was 17 right in the doctor's clinic days before the teen's debut party.
The incident left the teen traumatized and angry, her mother recalled in a separate interview.
"Minsan, dumarating pa rin yung time na naaalala niya yung nangyari, tapos nada-down siya. Simula nang nangyari yun, talagang nagbago yung ugali ng daughter ko...Everytime na nagagalit siya, naaalala niya yung nangyari. Puro galit ang sa kaniya," she said.
(There are times when she would remember what happened and she'd feel down. Ever since that happened, my daughter's attitude changed...Every time she's angry, she would remember what happened. All she felt was anger.)
She said their family offered moral support for the teen throughout the years that Mendez was in hiding.
"Talagang pinush namin na wag siyang mag-focus dun, wag siyang ma-trap dun sa nangyari, mag-move on siya, which is nakatulong naman nang malaki," she said.
(We pushed her not to focus on that, for her not to be trapped by what happened, for her to move on, which helped her a lot.)
Now 20 and a college graduate, the victim was forced to face Mendez when he was arrested.
"Nag-freak out na naman siya, parang naalala na naman yung dati. Nakaka-sad, pero nakakatuwa din dahil nahuli na siya," the mother said.
(She freaked out again, like she remembered what happened before. It's saddening, but it's also good that he was arrested.)
The family wants to keep Mendez behind bars, with the mother encouraging other victims, if any, to come forward.
Mendez's lawyer, who was at the police station when ABS-CBN News called, refused to divulge details about the doctor's arrest.
Mendez also has a standing arrest warrant for his alleged failure to remit his employees' Social Security System contributions.
In 2016, he was also convicted for tax evasion and sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of one to three years and a fine of P10,000.
- with Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News