Posted By: ABQ RAW Staff

Posted On: 07/27/2023 @ 7:30PM

Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office arresting 61 year-old Ralph Anthony Martinez

In a significant development, agents from the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office have arrested a 61-year-old school bus driver named Ralph Anthony Martinez in connection with four cold case rapes that occurred in Northeast Albuquerque during the 1980s and 1990s.

The arrest came after a meticulous forensic genetic genealogy DNA investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Team (SAKI). This investigation linked Martinez to multiple rapes that had remained unsolved for over three decades. Notably, Martinez had been working as a school bus driver with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS).

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Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office arresting 61 year-old Ralph Anthony Martinez

The breakthrough in the case happened earlier this year when SAKI agents collected DNA samples from the steering wheel, gear shift, and switches of the school bus that Martinez drove. Upon analysis, the collected DNA was found to match the DNA evidence collected from the sexual assaults that took place in 1988 and 1991.

The background of the case sheds light on the severity of the crimes. In October 1988, a 19-year-old victim was attacked while asleep at her home on Wyoming NE. The perpetrator broke in and threatened her with a knife before committing the sexual assault.

Similarly, on August 3, 1991, a 35-year-old woman was assaulted in her home on Aspen Ave NE after an intruder used her own gun to threaten and rape her. Fortunately, the victim managed to escape to a neighbor’s home, and the suspect fled, leaving behind crucial evidence in the form of his underwear and shirt.

On August 7, 1991, a third incident occurred involving an 18-year-old victim who was sexually assaulted in her apartment on San Mateo NE after a break-in.

All three victims showed immense bravery by going to the hospital, where sexual assault kits were collected to gather evidence. Furthermore, agents were able to link Martinez’s DNA to a fourth sexual assault; however, that particular victim is no longer alive. In 1989, the fourth assault occurred at Snow Heights Blvd, with the victim being 59 years old at the time.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman expressed pride in the hard work put in by the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit (SAKI) and hoped that this arrest would bring some measure of justice to the victims and their families.

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It is important to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. As the legal process moves forward, the evidence will be examined, and a fair trial will be conducted to ensure justice is served.

This arrest highlights the significance of advances in forensic DNA analysis and the unwavering determination of law enforcement to bring closure to cold cases.


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