A former Red Wind Casino bartender who arranged meetings with women he met on MySpace is on trial for allegedly raping two women after they were rendered incapable of consent.
A Thurston County jury heard opening statements Tuesday in the trial of Marcos Roberto Lozano, 29, who is charged with two counts of second-degree rape in connection with two incidents in February 2009.
Lozano’s court-appointed attorney, Larry Jefferson, said during his opening statement Tuesday that evidence will show that a woman who says Lozano raped her Feb. 8 had consensual sex with Lozano.
Jefferson told the jury that Lozano and the second accuser, who alleges she was raped Feb. 17, engaged in foreplay but didn’t have sex.
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Thurston County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating Lozano when a then-21-year-old woman from Yelm went to a hospital Feb. 17, 2009, to report that she had been raped.
The woman and Lozano had arranged a meeting at the Log Cabin Tavern the night of Feb. 16 after communicating on MySpace, a social networking website, court papers state.
The woman later told police that “during the evening she felt as if she had been drugged, because she began experiencing blurry vision and feeling numb all over her body even though she only had two drinks over the evening,” court papers state.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Skinder said in his opening statement Tuesday that because the 21-year-old was having trouble staying on her feet at the bar, she accepted Lozano’s offer of a ride to his home in the 7900 block of Fourth Court, just east of Lacey.
The woman says she slipped in and out of consciousness as Lozano raped her at his home, Skinder said.
“She kept repeating that she didn’t want to have sex with him, please stop,” Skinder told the jury.
The woman said she knew the next morning that she had been raped, but Lozano denied that they had had intercourse, Skinder said. An analysis at the State Patrol crime lab found semen on her clothing, Skinder said.
Lozano was arrested in early March, after an investigation by Thurston County sheriff’s Sgt. Cheryl Stines.
Lozano’s second accuser says she was raped at his home Feb. 8, 2009, and that she didn’t come forward until after Lozano’s arrest on suspicion of raping the 21-year-old.
The second accuser, a 24-year-old who lived in Lacey, told the jury Tuesday that she was very intoxicated when the rape occurred.
She testified that she had been drinking with friends in Spanaway on the night of Feb. 7. She arranged for a friend to pick her up and drive her home, and agreed to accompany the friend on a visit with Lozano that evening. According to court papers:
The 24-year-old said she had a single sip of beer at Lozano’s, then immediately fell asleep. Her friend had met Lozano on MySpace.
The friend and Lozano had consensual sex that night, and later in the morning of Feb. 8 the friend woke to find Lozano having sex with the 24-year-old on the couch.
“I couldn’t figure out why she was yelling at me to put my clothes on,” the alleged victim told the jury Tuesday.
The 24-year-old cried on the witness stand and said she remembers only bits and pieces of the rape that her friend had witnessed.
“After it happened, I really tried not to remember,” she said.
When asked why she didn’t immediately go to police, she replied, “I knew that this was really hard, and I wasn’t quite sure if I was strong enough for the process.”
The 24-year-old testified that when she learned that another woman had accused Lozano of rape, she realized she had to come forward and stand up for other women. She did not know the other alleged victim but heard about Lozano’s arrest.
“I knew there were more victims out there,” she told the jury.
Skinder made no mention of physical evidence to tie Lozano to the alleged rape Feb. 8, but he told the jury there was evidence to tie Lozano to the Feb. 17 rape.
A lab analysis of the 21-year-old’s underwear turned up DNA that had only a 1-in-2.2-quadrillion chance of belonging to someone other than Lozano, Skinder said.
Skinder said an analysis of the woman’s urine didn’t turn up evidence of a date-rape drug, but he cautioned that all traces of such drugs can be eliminated in as few as eight hours, and her urine was not tested until later than that.
Lozano is being held without bail at the Thurston County Jail. Since Lozano’s arrest, he was out of jail for a while on conditions of release after posting bail. Since, he twice has violated his conditions of release – once when friends of one of his accusers saw him at the Olympia nightclub The Vault.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org