On July 27, 2023, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office announced that 61-year-old Ralph Anthony Martinez had been arrested for four cold case rapes in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The first victim was a 19-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted at knife point in October of 1988 when an unknown intruder broke into her home while she was sleeping.
On August 3, 1991, he sexually assaulted a 35-year-old woman in her home. He threatened her with a gun she owned. The victim fled to a neighbouring home. The suspect left behind his shirt and a pair of underwear.
On August 7, 1991, an 18-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her home. He also assaulted a 59-year-old woman in 1989. She has since passed away.
A DNA profile of a single suspect was developed from the victims’ sexual assault kits. The FGG investigation was conducted by an unknown forensic organization in partnership with the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. The initial confirmation was made through the surreptitious sampling of the steering wheel and gear shift of the school bus that he drove for Albuquerque Public Schools.
Martinez has been charged with 4 counts of criminal sexual penetration with a deadly weapon in Bernalillo County Criminal Division.
Albuquerque Public Schools states that he has now been placed on leave. He was hired in 2018, and he passed a criminal record check as required to work in a job that permits access to young children.
Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. “Agents with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office Arrest School Bus Driver Linked to Four Cold Case Rapes in NE in the 1980’s and 1990’s.” Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, July 27, 2023. Accessed August 4, 2023. https://da2nd.nm.gov/agents-with-the-bernalillo-county-district-attorneys-office-arrest-school-bus-driver-linked-to-four-cold-case-rapes-in-ne-abq-in-the-1980s-and-1990s/.
Segarra, Curtis. “Albuquerque Public School Bus Driver Arrested in Connection to Rape Cold Cases.” KRQE, July 27, 2023. Last modified July 28, 2023. Accessed August 4, 2023. https://www.krqe.com/news/crime/albuquerque-public-school-bus-driver-arrested-in-connection-to-rape-cold-cases/.
Segura, Daniella. “DNA From Steering Wheel Links School Bus Driver to Decades-Old Rapes, NM Officials Say.” Sacramento Bee, July 31, 2023. Accessed August 4, 2023. https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article277821978.html.