Oregon police were hunting an ex-con Mexican national accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old Portland girl while her younger sister slept just a few feet away.
Previously-deported Santiago Martinez-Flores, 48, has a decades old criminal history and already served time for assault, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and failure to perform the duties of a driver. He was deported in March 2001 after a two-year prison sentence but made his way back to the U.S. sometime before the February sexual assault in which he’s suspected, Fox 12 reported.
The girl’s mother said Martinez-Flores sneaked in through a window and gained access to the bedroom where the alleged victim and her 5-year-old sister were sleeping. Martinez-Flores then reportedly pinned the 9-year-old down to the bed before the girl managed to escape and flee to her parents’ bedroom.
The girl’s father grabbed a gun and returned to his daughters’ bedroom, but by then the alleged attacker had fled.
Fingerprints taken at the scene identified Martinez-Flores as the primary suspect. The girl was also able to provide a description of her alleged attacker to the police, and preliminary sketches resemble mugshots of Martinez-Flores.
“It’s a terrible thing, and to have somebody take advantage of a child like that I think is one of the worst things that a human being can do,” said neighbor Debra Griffith. “I hope they put them away for a long, long time.”
“The girls go back-and-forth with our friends, back-and-forth across the street, and they’re always going back-and-forth unattended all the time,” said Heather Williams, another resident of the apartment complex where the family lived. Williams told KATU she is now worried for the safety of other children in the neighborhood.
The family has since moved from the apartment where the alleged attack took place.
“This is why people are going to start hating illegal immigrants even more, ’cause stuff like that,” said tenant Vasiliy Tereshchnko to KPTV. Another resident said it “takes only one apple to spoil the bunch.”
According to Fox News reports, Martinez-Flores’ criminal record includes previous jail time served for assault, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and failure to perform the duties of a driver.
Authorities said Martinez-Flores has used several aliases in the past, including Felipe Coeto and Isidro Ramos Flores. They believe he may be using another identity in an effort to evade police. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department posted photos of Martinez-Flores along with the number for a tip line on its Twitter account, urging local residents to help in his capture.