Authorities arrest APS bus driver linked to 4 rape cold cases

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Special agents with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office arrested a 61-year-old APS bus driver allegedly linked to four rape cold cases.

According to the DA’s office, a DNA investigation linked Ralph Anthony Martinez to the assaults that happened in Albuquerque over 30 years ago.

Martinez has been an APS bus driver for five years.

Prosecutors believe Martinez raped four Albuquerque women between 1988 and 1991, when he was in his 30s.

In one attack, police said the suspect broke in through a kitchen window, took the victim’s gun on her nightstand, and raped her.

Before the brutal attack was over, police say the woman convinced him to let her check to see if anyone else had gotten into her house – and she ran away. The suspect left his underwear in the bedroom, and police say a neighbor nearly ran him down before he got away.

Martinez’s victims were between 18 and 59 years old. The oldest living victim is around 68 years old now.

District Attorney Sam Bregman says it’s unfortunate it took this long, but they believe they have the right guy.

“We’re confident we’ve arrested a serial rapist,” Bregman said. “We are absolutely sure we’ve got the right person.”

The investigators who cracked the case are with a special unit under the DA’s office that looks into sexual assault cold cases. They had the old rape kits and narrowed it down.

Agents reportedly collected DNA from Martinez’s school bus steering wheel, gear shift and switches – and found that it was a match.

“It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened,” Bregman said. “We’re going to hold them accountable.”

Bregman said his office doesn’t have evidence that Martinez committed any other crimes, but they will continue to investigate.