Man Accused Of Raping Developmentally Disabled Woman To Stand Trial

Man Accused Of Raping Developmentally Disabled Woman To Stand Trial

News Staff

A Bermuda Dunes man accused of raping a 20-year-old developmentally disabled woman last year was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on two felony counts.

Judge Harold Hopp ruled that enough evidence was presented for Gabriel Ortiz, 25, to proceed to trial on charges of rape and oral copulation of a victim who is unable to give legal consent, but dismissed a third count of sexual battery of a disabled or medically incapacitated person.

According to court documents, the woman identified only as Jane Doe “functions at the competency of a 12-year-old girl” and has cerebral palsy, ADHD and suffers from seizures. An arrest warrant declaration states that 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, 2018, 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, according to the document.

Charges were filed against him in June 2018, and he was arrested on warrants for the rape case and a domestic violence case about four months later after allegedly running from deputies who spotted him in Palm Desert.

Ortiz remains out of custody on $55,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment on July 16.