Bermuda Dunes Man Due In Court On Rape Charges

Bermuda Dunes Man Due In Court On Rape Charges

News Staff

A Bermuda Dunes man accused of raping a developmentally disabled woman was due to appear in court Wednesday on three felony counts related to sexual assault.

Gabriel Ortiz, 24, is accused of sexually assaulting the 20-year-old woman, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, who investigators say “functions at the competency of a 12-year-old girl,” according to court documents. She also suffers from seizures, cerebral palsy and ADHD, according to an arrest warrant declaration, which states investigators “recognized the victim did not possess the cognitive abilities of adults her age, and had the mannerisms of a preadolescent child.”

Sheriff’s deputies were contacted by staff at Eisenhower Medical Center on Jan. 5 and spoke with the victim, who told investigators the assault happened the previous night at Ortiz’s apartment, the declaration states.

Ortiz was arrested about a week later for an unrelated crime, and admitted kissing the victim, but said she initiated all other sexual contact.

Charges of rape, oral copulation of a victim who is unable to give legal consent and sexual battery of a disabled or medically incapacitated person were filed by Riverside County prosecutors in June.

Ortiz, who had active felony warrants for the rape case and a domestic violence case, was arrested Thursday night after allegedly running from deputies who spotted him in Palm Desert. Deputies from the Palm Desert and Thermal stations gave chase, along with California Highway Patrol units and Ortiz was eventually taken into custody near the intersection of Avenue 41 and Washington Street in Bermuda Dunes, deputies said.

He was being held in lieu of $55,000 bail at the Riverside County jail in Indio.