Suspect in 4 rape cases appears in court

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After waiting more than 30 years, there may finally be justice for multiple women brutally attacked in the metro. Investigators arrested a local school bus driver after getting DNA from his steering wheel. On Friday, he faced a judge.

61-year-old Ralph Anthony Martinez is staying in custody, at least until his next hearing. Prosecutors want him held in jail until trial.

Martinez is facing rape charges after the District Attorney’s Office said they linked his DNA to four women he alleged raped from the late ’80s to the early ’90s.

Court documents say Martinez was violent in these incidents – breaking into victim’s homes, taking their weapons of self defense, and eventually sexually assaulting them.

These were cold cases up until a special unit within the DA’s office – who investigates cold cases – looked into this.

“Over the last ten years, the technology on DNA and the ability to match up is really moved forward dramatically, and so it’s really helped in these older type of investigations,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman.

Martinez was an APS bus driver for the last five years, working with children. It was his own school bus where the DA’s office was able to collect his DNA from the steering wheel, gear and other areas of the bus that matched the DNA from those women’s cold cases.

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

Martinez is expected to be in court again on Aug. 11 where a judge will decide if he stays behind bars before his trial.