A former Massachusetts resident serving time in Texas has been charged with a string of sexual assaults that happened nine years ago in New Bedford.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office announced the charges Wednesday against Orlando Robles, formerly of Dartmouth, in connection with attacks that occurred in June and July of 2013. A grand jury in Bristol County indicted him last week.
Robles faces three counts of rape, two counts of assault with intent to rape, one count of kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery, one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, and a count of using a motor vehicle during a felony.
Prosecutors say a man kidnapped a 19-year-old woman on June 7, 2013, after asking her if she wanted a ride. He allegedly began to strangle her, punched her repeatedly in the head and tried to put his hands in her pants. The victim got away.
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A second attack happened about three weeks later on June 29, when a man opened the car door of a 37-year-old woman who had just pulled into her driveway. According to prosecutors, the man "grabbed her face with two hands, putting two fingers in her mouth and grabbing her tongue, preventing her from yelling." After he put his fingers in her vagina, she poked him in the eye and he ran away.
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Just over a week later, on July 7, a 30-year-old woman was attacked after getting out of her car at a McDonald's on Dartmouth Street. A man grabbed her throat from behind and pushed her into the car and put his finger inside her anus. The woman bit him and he ran away.
One more incident happened four days later on July 13 when a man punched a 31-year-old woman twice in the face and started to strangle her while she was on the phone with her husband in her car. The man put his fingers in her vagina and then fled.
Robles was interviewed by police after being stopped in what appeared to be the same truck that was seen in surveillance footage after the fourth attack. He told police he lived in Texas and was in New Bedford to work as a scallop fisherman.
Investigators in Massachusetts later spoke with police in Texas, who said four similar incidents had occurred there in August and September. He was arrested in connection with an indecent exposure case in Texas, found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The district attorney's office said its investigators continued to review the similarities between the cases in Massachusetts and Texas, with detectives traveling to speak with Robles in prison in March.
Robles will be eligible for parole in Texas in 2023. The Bristol County District Attorney's Office is seeking a warrant requiring him to answer to the new charges while he remains incarcerated.