Evansville Man Accused of Repeatedly Beating, Raping Woman
An Evansville man who was nicknamed "the beast" by his alleged victim could face over 60 years behind bars if convicted of sexually assaulting and beating a woman repeatedly over several months.
Homero Orozco-Ortiz, 45, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Natrona County District Court on one count each of first-degree sexual assault and aggravated assault, as well as a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge and two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery. Ortiz could face up to 62 years imprisonment if convicted on all counts.
Charging papers say Ortiz was arrested July 8 after Evansville Police responded to a home in the 900 block of Fifth Street following multiple 911 hang-up calls and one open 911 call.
The first officer arrived shortly before 8 p.m. and found Ortiz and woman sitting on the front porch of the home. The woman was crying, and appeared to be "extremely terrified and upset."
The officer spoke with Ortiz and the alleged victim, and asked if everything was alright. Ortiz reportedly said there were no problems, but the victim shook her head as if to say "no." The officer believed the woman may have been in danger, so he asked to speak with her off the porch.
She was crying as she walked past him, and the officer noticed several large bruises on the woman's arms, chest and face. It seemed as if the woman had recently been "seriously battered," court documents say.
The officer spoke with Ortiz, who was "continually monitoring and glaring at [the alleged victim] whom was still with eyesight of [Ortiz]." Ortiz said nothing physical had taken place, but the alleged victim wanted to break up with him.
Another officer arrived on scene, so the first officer went over to speak with the victim. She reportedly said she was not alright, and wanted a ride away from the home.
When the officer asked, the alleged victim claimed Ortiz had been abusing her throughout the day, week and month. She asked to move further away from Ortiz so he wouldn't hear them speaking.
The victim said Ortiz caused all of her visible injuries, but said she didn't want to press charges because Ortiz had threatened to harm her or her family if she did.
Her injuries reportedly looked as though she had been hit with closed fists or grabbed with extreme force. She agreed to go to the Evansville Police Department for a more thorough interview.
Officers then spoke with Ortiz, who said he and the alleged victim had been dating "on and off" for over a year. He said he had been drinking that day, according to the affidavit. When asked by police why the woman had been so upset, Ortiz reportedly said something to the effect of, "that's how they are when they drink."
Ortiz allegedly went on to claim the victim had been beaten by an unknown woman. Ortiz was not able to give officers an idea of when those injuries occurred, and police arrested him.
At the police department, the victim reportedly said she had been dating Ortiz since August 2013 and moved in with him in October 2013. She said Ortiz started mentally abusing her roughly two years ago, saying the abuse started with name-calling and constant supervision.
It escalated to physical abuse in November 2016, the victim said. Ortiz would allegedly punch her, slap her, push her around and grab her. She said she nicknamed him "The Beast" because of the incessant violence.
The victim told police she tried to leave Ortiz several times, but he would stalk and threaten her until she started seeing him again. When she tried to leave the house, the victim said, Ortiz would physically restrain her and prevent her from leaving.
Two days prior to the interview, July 6, the victim sought medical attention for her left hand at Wyoming Medical Center. She told police Ortiz was with her the entire time, coaching her on what to say and telling her to avoid letting doctors know about her other injuries. Ortiz allegedly told her to say she hurt her hand by punching a chair.
On July 8, the victim said, Ortiz had been grabbing her, pushing her and squeezing her jaw. He was angry, she said, and she screamed for help, though no one heard her. When she tried to leave the house, Ortiz allegedly screamed at her to stay, so she did.
She asked Ortiz if she could have her phone so she could listen to music, but was able to use the phone to call 911. Police note the victim was listening to music from her phone when officers arrived at the home on Fifth Street that evening.
The victim also claimed that Ortiz had forced her to have sex with him. He allegedly ripped her clothes off, and when the victim would try to defend herself, Ortiz would beat her and continue to sexually assault her.
The most recent sexual assault, the victim told police, occurred about a month prior to Ortiz's arrest. She would continue to say "no," but Ortiz would not stop, the victim said. She also told police Ortiz threatened her, and she never told anyone out of fear that Ortiz would kill her.
The first-degree sexual assault charge filed by the Natrona County District Attorney's Office specifies the crime to have allegedly occurred between May 1 and July 1.
Court documents detail numerous injuries to the victim observed during the interview, including significant bruising across much of her body -- some of which were extremely large -- and swollen knuckles, which police say were consistent with physical abuse.
"All of the injuries I observed are consistent with injuries obtained by being struck with closed fists, pushed, grabbed and slapped," the officer writes in his affidavit.
After the interviews were conducted, the victim told another officer that Ortiz had held a knife to her stomach and threatened to kill her on July 8.
Public defender Curtis Cheney on Tuesday asked Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking to reduce bond in the case from $250,000 to $10,000. Cheney said Natrona County Circuit Court judges have been "raising bonds quite a bit" lately, adding that the original bond amount was $100,000 cash or surety.
Cheney also said Ortiz has ties to the community, and children in Glenrock. Cheney believes Ortiz is not a flight risk.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer opposed any bond reduction, saying Ortiz faced two criminal charges in Glenrock in 1998 -- one of which was aggravated assault, later reduced to a concealed weapon charge.
Schafer argued the Circuit Court judge in the case may have felt bond was too low to begin with, hence the increase. Schafer also said the increase may have been the result of additional charges filed against Ortiz after his arrest.
Wilking declined to modify Ortiz's bond, continuing it at $250,000 cash or surety. Trial will be scheduled at a later date.