A man who allegedly attacked a 64-year-old California woman and brutally raped her is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been arrested four times in the past two years.
The victim, Marilyn Pharis, died eight days after the attack, which occurred July 24 while she was asleep in her Santa Maria home. An autopsy is being conducted to help determine if Pharis died as a direct result of the heinous crime.
Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29, was arrested shortly after the attack while he was inside another home nearby.
He is charged with attempted murder, first-degree burglary with person present, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration by foreign object and resisting a peace officer, according to the Santa Maria Times. His bond is set at $1 million.
According to KEYT, Ramirez has been arrested four times over the past two years for narcotics violations. Santa Maria police chief Ralph Martin said Tuesday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement verified that he was in the U.S. illegally. The Santa Maria Times reports that his most recent arrest came in May 2014 and that he is still on probation stemming from that case.
It is unclear why Ramirez was still in the U.S. or whether he has been deported or has a removal order pending against him.
The case comes amid renewed attention to violent crimes committed by illegal aliens. On July 1, 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez fatally shot 32-year-old Kate Steinle in broad daylight in San Francisco. Lopez-Sanchez had been deported five times. Lopez-Sanchez was in the custody of the San Francisco sheriff’s department as of April. But he was released despite a detainer request placed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. San Francisco is a sanctuary city which means that it usually refuses to cooperated with federal immigration agencies in immigration cases.