Hillsboro rapist pleads guilty to murder charges
A Hillsboro man has pleaded guilty to killing a stranger in a Northeast Portland apartment and raping a woman at a nearby motel.
Alexander Rico Ortiz, 34, pleaded guilty Jan. 24 to charges of first-degree rape, aggravated murder and aggravated first-degree animal abuse in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors said Ortiz sexually abused, raped, robbed and coerced a woman at Red Roof Inn, 3828 N.E. 82nd Ave., in Portland on Feb. 27, 2017. After the attack, Ortiz ran to the 8300 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard, less than a block away, where prosecutors say he broke into the apartment of Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas, 59. He robbed Herrera, then killed him and Herrera's dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Max, prosecutors alleged.
Ortiz's formal sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 48 years.
At a court hearing shortly after his arrest, Herrera Villegas' ex-wife, Cathy Caulford said Ortiz had committed a horrific crime.
"He took a great father from two wonderful kids and a wonderful family," she said. "He was the most loving father and I just hope that when this is done the court locks him away for life."
Ortiz is already serving 33 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two Hillsboro women in separate attacks last year.
Prosecutors said Ortiz arranged dates with the women in February 2017, days before the Portland rape and murder.
On Feb. 1, 2017, Ortiz brought the first victim to his home in Hillsboro. After she refused his advances, he threatened her life and said he would kill her if she did not have sex with him, and threatened her life if she called the police. Ortiz raped a second woman at the home on Feb. 14.
At his Washington County sentencing in December, Ortiz's second victim wrote to the judge about how the attack had affected her and her loved ones.
"The defendant put our entire family in danger, living in fear of what he could do again," she wrote. "I have had to live with low self-esteem, stressed, depressed and embarrassed. I wish I had died in the moment instead of living with all the flashbacks."
At the time of the attacks, Ortiz, a registered sex offender, had only recently been released from prison. He served two years in Washington County Jail after he tried to rape a relative's girlfriend, according to court documents.
Ortiz's younger brother is also serving time in prison for sexual assault. Jose Omar Ortiz-Rico is serving 56 years in prison for kidnapping and raping two women.
Prosecutors said a female acquaintance had agreed to help Ortiz-Rico move in 2015. Instead he drove her to a field in Aloha where he assaulted her for eight hours.
A month later, Ortiz-Rico met a woman online who was looking to rent a room in Vancouver, Wash. Instead, Ortiz-Rico drove her to Oregon where he raped her in his car. The woman eventually escaped and ran to a Beaverton gas station to call for help.
Pamplin Media Group news partner KOIN 6 News contributed to this report