Crime

Man charged with raping autistic woman headed home from church in Tacoma

Man accused of raping woman with autism appears in court

Diego Martinez-Martinez, 36, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, April 17, 2019, to charges that he raped a woman headed home from church in Tacoma on June 17, 2018. Records say the victim has autism and functions at the level of a 7-year-old.
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Diego Martinez-Martinez, 36, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, April 17, 2019, to charges that he raped a woman headed home from church in Tacoma on June 17, 2018. Records say the victim has autism and functions at the level of a 7-year-old.

A man accused of raping a woman on her way home from church in Tacoma last year pleaded not guilty Wednesday at arraignment.

Diego Martinez-Martinez, 36, is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping for the attack.

Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Sabrina Ahrens set bail at $500,000.

The 28-year-old victim has autism and functions at the level of a 7-year-old, court records say.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

The woman got home late June 17, 2018, and told her mother that she’d been attacked by a man with a Jesus tattoo on his chest.

He asked her for money as she walked to a bus stop and slapped her. Then he held a knife as he took her to a tent in the woods, where he assaulted her.

Martinez-Martinez has a tattoo of Jesus on his chest. Police identified him as a possible suspect and spoke with him.

He denied knowing or being with the woman and said he did not live in a tent.

He agreed to give investigators a DNA sample, which matched evidence taken from the victim during a rape exam.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest, and Tuesday he was booked into Pierce County Jail.

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