More cases await convicted Manhattan Heights Rapist

Sentence not the end for the Manhattan Heights Rapist

EL PASO, Texas -      A jury has sentenced the convicted "Manhattan Heights Rapist" to life in prison, but there's still much more to come in court.

     With Thursday's sentencing, convicted rapist Arturo Valtierra could still qualify for parole in a few decades, but he could also still have a long road of court cases ahead of him.

     Valtierra was convicted Tuesday and sentenced Thursday by the jury on a total of five counts: life in prison for three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated burglary, the maximum sentences for those charges. He was also sentenced to 99 years in prison for burglary of a home, with all of the charges to be served at the same time.

     But there are multiple other cases pending against Valtierra as well. Three other sexual assault and robbery cases in the 243rd Court in El Paso, and another in Ft. Worth.
     Victims in the other El Paso cases testified during the punishment phase of this trial because Texas law allows it as long as the prosecution meets the burden of proof for the jury to hear it.

     Prosecutor Penny Hamilton said that those other cases are still moving forward, and they're talking with authorities in Ft. Worth about how to schedule all the cases.

     "It's quite probable the next thing that will happen is a trial in Ft. Worth on those charges," Hamilton said. "But I say probable because we still have cases pending here in the 243rd. So it's going to be up to Judge Aguilar. We will have a meeting with the Ft. Worth prosecutors and the judge and ourselves later on today."

     What's not clear is if any additional sentences Valtierra gets would be served concurrently, or after any possible parole he might receive.
     According to the district attorney's office in El Paso, those decisions would be up to the judge trying the future cases.

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