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Thursday, December 9, 2021

NEWS RELEASE -- DA Hestrin announces charges in Coachella Valley serial rapist case

RIVERSIDE – District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced today, Dec. 10, 2021, that 14 felony counts – including four counts of attempted murder – are being filed against a man believed to be a serial rapist.

 

Jose Manuel Martinez Garcia, DOB: 1-31-85, is charged with physically and/or sexually assaulting six women in the Coachella Valley area from September 2020 to August 2021. The attacks included three victims being strangled to unconsciousness and two incidents in which the victim was struck by the defendant’s pickup. In one of those, the victim sustained a broken leg. She was left injured in a ditch in Thermal for a several days before being found and given medical assistance.

 

Garcia is a Mexican National who was living in Coachella. He previously lived in the Bakersfield area.

 

Since there are multiple victims and the defendant also lived outside of the Coachella Valley, the DA’s Office and the investigating agencies – the Indio Police Department and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – are asking anyone with information about Garcia or who may have also been a victim to please contact Sr. DA Investigator Claudia Herrera at (760) 863-7809 or claudiaherrera@rivcoda.org

 

Following a lengthy investigation into several violent sexual assaults, Indio police detectives and sheriff’s investigators at the Thermal Station identified Garcia as the suspect. Garcia was arrested on Oct. 5, 2021, and has been held in custody without bail since that date.

 

The DA’s Office filed charges involving four victims at that time, but detectives continued investigating Garcia’s possible connection to other crimes.

 

Today, Dec. 10, the DA’s Office is filing an amended criminal complaint charging Garcia with crimes involving two more victims, bringing the total to six victims. Garcia is scheduled to appear today at 1:30 p.m. in Dept. 3R at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. Along with the attempted murder counts, Garcia is also charged with forcible rape, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, and other sex-related counts.

 

If convicted as currently charged, Garcia faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

 

The case, INF2101719, is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Shea Strand of the DA’s Special Victims Unit.

 

 

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Author: John Hall
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