Written for The Argus Observer. Published on May 13, 2015.
Another rape victim came forward on Monday, May 11, in connection with Rafael Ramirez Perez, 19, of Ontario, who was arrested in March for the alleged rape of a 12-year-old Nyssa girl.
“Through an interview there was a 13 year old in Ontario that disclosed three encounters [with Ramirez Perez] this year, and two of them involved penetration,” said Nyssa Police Chief Raymond Rau. “Those interviews have been submitted to the DA.”
The information came out in a forensics interview at the STAR center, which is part of Project Dove and specializes in helping victims of sexual abuse, especially children.
Rau said the 13-year-old girl was “very detailed in her statement.”
Rau said two additional people have been interviewed, and the parent of a third that had contact with Ramirez Perez.
“That third one, it looks like he was grooming her and they never got a chance to meet,” Rau said. “The mother got ahold of it before anything happened, but it was the same type of behavior with Facebook communications.”
Now that they have new information, Rau said the District Attorney’s office will go through the evidence and “they’ll probably have to go through a grand jury.”
Ramirez Perez was arrested on March 24, after Nyssa police officers found him in a car with a 12-year-old Nyssa girl on the outskirts of town. During that first encounter, he told the officer that his mom was in the car with him. As the officer left, he discovered a used condom nearby and returned to the car. That was when he found the girl.
Police believed at that time that there could have been more victims, since Ramirez Perez met the girl on Facebook.
Ramirez Perez, who is a student at Ontario High School, is now in the Malheur County Jail on a $100,000 bond for two counts of rape in the second degree. He pled not guilty before Judge Lung Hung in Malheur County Circuit Court at the end of April.
Ramirez Perez has a hearing on a motion to suppress on June 1, 2015. Usually, that means a request to discard evidence for consideration by the judge or the jury at the trial.
His trial is set for July 22, 23, and 24 of this year.