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A man accused of raping and robbing four women in Phoenix is scheduled to stand trial next month, more than a decade after the alleged crimes took place.
David Marmolejo isn’t a household name in the Valley, but the 37-year-old man is notorious in El Paso, where he was convicted in the 2009 slaying of his mother, Gloria Huerta.
Marmolejo is serving a 54-year sentence for the Texas crime but was extradited back to Phoenix last year. He was booked into a Maricopa County jail on Dec. 8.
Marmolejo, 37, now is facing 29 charges, including 15 counts of sexual assault, four counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of sexual abuse and four counts of kidnapping.
All of the Phoenix crimes occurred between December 2005 and February 2006, and all of the alleged victims were prostitutes working the old track on Van Buren Street, authorities said.
Marmolejo was living in Phoenix prior to his mother’s death, according to reports from the El Paso Times.
He was initially arrested in March 2006 for the charges he faces today. Marmolejo denied the allegations at first, but his story began to change when a Phoenix detective presented him with the evidence.
All four women reported being raped by a man with a “Faith” tattoo on his neck who drove a white, two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse, the detective said.
Marmolejo still denied the assaults but admitted to picking up about 11 prostitutes during his time in Phoenix, the Times report states. He offered an explanation of why some may have been bitter—Marmolejo said he had a habit of short-changing them, especially if they were on drugs.
Upon his 2006 arrest, Marmolejo faced four counts of kidnapping, four counts of armed robbery and 10 counts of sexual assault. But the case was ultimately dismissed, as three of the women couldn’t be located and the fourth refused to cooperate.
Marmolejo at the time walked away a free man and later began living in his mother’s home in El Paso. Huerta at the time was staying with another son in Phoenix.
But by mid-2009, Huerta told relatives she needed to go back to her El Paso home, according to a Times report. Huerta heard Marmolejo had been in a relationship with his stepsister, and the two of them had been living together in the house. If this was confirmed, Huerta reportedly said, she was going to evict them.
That was July 25, 2009. Six days later, a woman walking near a desert in Santa Teresa, N.M., discovered her body.
Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said the Phoenix case was never closed, but investigators were still waiting for lab results at the time Marmolejo was arrested in Texas.
Now that the judicial process in Texas has wrapped up, Howard said Phoenix police and prosecutors were able to work with Texas authorities to bring Marmolejo back to Arizona and answer for the crimes.
Marmolejo’s next scheduled court appearance is on Aug. 2, and his trial is scheduled for Aug. 10.
The El Paso Times contributed to this report. The Times and The Arizona Republic are part of the USA Today Network.
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