On April 1, 2024, Marcus Lovato was found guilty by a jury on two charges of Criminal Sexual Penetration, along with attempted Criminal Sexual Penetration (aided or abetted), conspiracy to Commit Criminal Sexual Penetration (aided or abetted), as well as Criminal Sexual Contact and Voyeurism. Reportedly on June 4, 2021, the individual who later became the victim, along with a co-defendant, were present in a motel room. The co-defendant extended an invitation to the occupant of the adjacent room to join them for a drink. Later that night, Lovato raped the victim while he was unconscious. The co-defendant filmed the sexual assault. The victim remained unaware of the rape until the discovery of 22 videos. Lovato is now confronted with a potential sentence of over 26 years in the Department of Corrections.

On the evening of April 3rd, 2024, Bernalillo County DA Sam Bregman and Sheriff John Allen took a break from fighting crime to engage in a community dialogue at the South Valley Townhall. Their commitment lies in understanding the concerns and viewpoints of residents with the aim of enhancing safety in Bernalillo County. Both Sheriff Allen and DA Bregman extended their thanks to everyone who attended.

On Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024, Giovani Ruiz was found guilty by a jury of Kidnapping, four counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration in the second degree, and criminal sexual contact. In June 2015, the victim encountered the defendant at Isleta Casino. After spending time together in his vehicle, he drove away from the casino to an isolated dirt road. Subsequently, the defendant initiated sexual assault against the victim, resulting in significant injuries. Ruiz now faces a sentence of 18 to 55.5 years in the Department of Corrections.

In court on April 4th, 2024, Ralph Martinez, aged 61, admitted to the violent sexual assault of three women, pleading guilty to six counts of Criminal Sexual Penetration. Between 1988 and 1991, the assaults took place when Martinez forcibly entered their homes and committed rape. Martinez had no prior acquaintance with his victims.

For years, Martinez clung to the belief that he could escape responsibility for his actions, and for decades, he succeeded in doing just that. In July 2023, the Bernalillo County DA’s Office Cold Case Rape Unit, known as SAKI, utilized DNA evidence obtained from the steering wheel and gear shift of the APS school bus under Martinez’s supervision. This evidence was instrumental in their investigation. This crucial evidence directly connected Martinez to the rapes, resulting in his capture.

Martinez now faces the possibility of receiving a sentence of up to 30 years in the Department of Corrections. This development is particularly significant as it represents the 13th Cold Case Rape Conviction achieved by the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Team over the past year.

DA Sam Bregman expressed deep pride in the team’s dedication, remarking, “I want to convey how incredibly proud I am of this team.” Bregman underscored the importance of achieving justice for the victims, noting, “These victims have endured immense trauma because of Martinez. We hope this provides them with some semblance of justice.”

Deputy District Attorney Jack Jacks, who oversees the SAKI Unit, expressed appreciation to the victims for their bravery, courage, and cooperation.

Thirty minutes after Martinez’s guilty plea, William Spencer, a serial rapist, also confessed to raping four women in the Albuquerque area between 2016 and 2017, according to the Bernalillo County DA’s office. Spencer’s sentencing date remains undisclosed.

On April 5th, 2024, a judge made the decision to detain Zane Katzenberger as his case proceeds through the legal system. According to investigators, last weekend, the 18-year-old allegedly discharged a firearm at a gathering of individuals near Central and 4th Street. Katzenberger’s reckless actions resulted in injuries to two people. Katzenberger reportedly informed the police that he acquired the gun through a social media application. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Gun Team is handling the prosecution of this case. Authorities are charging Katzenberger with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, negligent use of a deadly weapon, and unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon.

Also on April 5th, 2024, a judge sentenced Brian Stenerson to 18 years in prison for sexually abusing a six-year-old little boy in 2019. A bystander witnessed the incident and promptly alerted the authorities. In December, a jury found Stenerson guilty of committing Criminal Sexual Penetration against a child.

On April 5th, 2024, a judge decided that David Haro will stay in custody while his cases progress through the judicial process. Haro faces charges, alongside his daughter and her fiancé, of First Degree Murder in connection with the vicious beating and stabbing of an unidentified woman on March 15, 2024. The incident occurred near the intersection of Broadway and Indian School NE.

On March 26th, 2024, a judge decided that Haro’s daughter, Destiny Marquez, and Marquez’s fiancé, Joshua Dominguez, would remain in custody while their cases proceed through the legal system.


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