Arturo Valtierra-Payan, the man El Paso Police say was responsible for a string of home burglaries and aggravated sexual assaults, pleaded not guilty at his latest arraignment Tuesday morning.
Valtierra-Payan appeared unaffected in the courtroom by the mountain of charges he's now facing. He has pleaded not guilty in all of the cases he has been arraigned on.
Valtierra-Payan, also known as Valtierra, was indicted in September on additional charges he faced in connection with aggravated sexual assaults and burglary of habitations in the Manhattan Heights area of El Paso. The new indictments included charges for three aggravated sexual assaults and three burglary of habitation charges. These cases represent three victims.
Valtierra was previously indicted on a burglary of habitation and two counts of aggravated sexual assault charges for the alleged attack of a fourth woman.
In Texas, aggravated sexual assault is rape.
Valtierra lived on Savannah Street in Central El Paso, just a few blocks from where the four crimes took place.
He was arrested at about 11 p.m. July 2 in the 7200 block of Alameda. He is being held at the El Paso County Jail Annex with his bond set at $2.1 million.
Police say that there are no other open cases in El Paso against Valtierra at this time.
El Paso police detectives linked Valtierra to a sexual assault case that was reported in the Fort Worth area in September 2012. This link was established through DNA evidence that was recovered in El Paso and entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
Fort Worth prosecutors, who attended Valtierra’s arraignment Tuesday, said there are now two sexual assault cases filed against Valtierra in the Fort Worth area with possibly more to come. The two cases are tied to one victim.
But Fort Worth prosecutors weren't in El Paso for the cases he's been charged with in North Texas.
Tarrant County district attorneys Betty Arvin and Shelia Wynn have been appointed by Judge Luis Aguilar to prosecute one of Valtierra's sex assault cases here in El Paso.
On Tuesday, Valtierra's court-appointed defense attorney Robert Riley objected to their appointments as special prosecutors, filing a motion to have them disqualified because the Fort Worth district attorney's office is already involved in those cases against Valtierra in Fort Worth.
Aguilar ruled there will be a hearing in two weeks to decide whether or not the Fort Worth prosecutors can stay on the case.
The new affidavits uncovered by the ABC-7 I-Team in September reveal that Valtierra allegedly burglarized two homes a few blocks away from each other -- in less than an hour -- on the same night in late May.
At the first home, the woman went outside to lock her vehicle door when Valtierra confronted her. She ran inside in her home but Valtierra broke the door in, injuring himself doing it, according to the affidavit.
The woman screamed, waking up her husband and small child who were in the living room.
"The defendant threatened to kill both victims if they did not cooperate," according to the affidavit. "The defendant told the male victim to get on the floor. While on the floor the male victim observed the defendant to have a tattoo on his left outer leg below the knee and the defendant was bleeding from a cut on his right shin area."
Valtierra took money and a cell phone from them and then had the man put a flat screen TV inside their vehicle, which he then took, according to the affidavit. The vehicle was found a few blocks away without the TV.
At the second home, a woman was asleep in her bed when she woke up to find Valtierra standing over her with a knife, according to the affidavit.
"The defendant threatened to kill the victim if she did not cooperate," according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states Valtierra then forced the woman to perform a sex act on him before he raped her. The victim's home alarm went off but Valtierra was able to escape through a rear door as police arrived.
In late June, a woman woke up and Valtierra was standing over her with an ice pick, according to the affidavit. He then allegedly threatened to kill her and her daughters, who were in the same room, if she did not cooperate.
Valtierra then led the woman out of the home and made her perform a sex act on him before he raped her, according to the affidavit. He then took her back to the home and stole her money and jewelry, police said.
Two days later, Valtierra broke in through the front door of a woman's home and punched her. When she took off his bandana during the attack, he allegedly threatened to kill her, then raped her.