Crime

Bellingham police say man raped 2 children decades ago, seek help in investigation

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Up Next
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

A 49-year-old man who decades ago allegedly raped two children younger than 10 has been arrested, and Bellingham police are asking anyone with information that may assist in the investigation to come forward.

Elix M. Ortiz-Rios was booked into Whatcom County Jail Monday, Aug. 26, on suspicion of two counts of first-degree child rape.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, both cases were recently reported to police but occurred about two decades or more ago. In both cases, the victims were known to Ortiz-Rios.

Murphy said when Ortiz-Rios was 19 years old, he is believed to have begun sexually touching the first victim, who was younger than 10 at the time. Ortiz-Rios ultimately raped her on several occasions, Murphy said.

Approximately 10 years later, Murphy said Ortiz-Rios is believed to have begun inappropriately and sexually touching a second victim, who also was younger than 10, and raping her on several occasions.

Anybody with information that could assist in the investigation is asked to contact Detective Frank at 360-778-8645.

Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, you can contact the following local resources for free, confidential support:

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: info@dvsas.org.

Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.

Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.

Brigid Collins Family Support Center: 360-734-4616, brigidcollins.org.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
  Comments