• Man arrested after allegedly kidnapping, raping a 28-year-old developmentally disabled woman

    By: Kevin McCarty

    Updated:

    Diego Martinez managed to dodge police for 10 months after he allegedly kidnapped and raped a 28-year-old developmentally disabled woman near church in east Tacoma.

    The woman told police she was leaving this church on June 17, 2018 heading for a nearby bus stop when Martinez, 37, walked up to her and said he wanted some money then slapped her in the face.

    “She was very impressionable and he was able to get her to a ten which was part of an encampment in that wooded area [behind the church],' said Tacoma police spokeswoman Officer Loretta Cool.

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    According to a probable cause affidavit, “the man walked her into the woods, he had a knife and was trying to stab her, she said the man wouldn't let her go home.” Police said once he had her inside a makeshift tent Martinez raped the woman. Investigators say another man in the camp helped her escape walking her out to the street where she found a ride home.

    Martinez was identified by the woman in a police lineup and described tattoos he had on his chest, according to investigators. He was interviewed by detectives last year and voluntarily gave a DNA sample, then disappeared until his arrest this week. Even though court documents claim the woman functions at the level of a 7-year-old, police say she was able to provide enough information leaning to Martinez's arrest.

    “She has a limited mental capacity and that’s probably why he was able to convince her to come to the tent,” said Cool.

    Martinez was arraigned Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of rape and kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

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