Rantz: Migrant on work program is serial rapist suspect, days away from leaving US

Nov 4, 2022, 6:30 AM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 4:31 pm


Photo from Crime Stoppers

The Pierce County Sherriff’s Department says a migrant worker in this country as part of a short-term work program is a serial rapist. He was caught and charged just three days before he was set to return to Mexico.

WARNING: The story includes graphic details.

Ricardo Villegas Molina, 28, faces charges for the rape and kidnapping of two women. Deputies say he raped both women at knifepoint. Deputies alleged he might be involved in multiple other rapes.

If not for the work of the Sherriff’s office, this suspect may have been able to get away scot-free.

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First victim barely escaped

On October 7, Molina picked up a homeless prostitute in Tacoma. He said he was driving to his parent’s house to pick something up, but took her to a secluded field instead. There, deputies say he pulled out a six-inch knife. The victim jumped out of the car and tried to escape, but deputies say Molina knocked her down and kicked her in the face and body. They say he threatened to stab her before using the knife to cut off her clothing.

“[The victim] said the suspect spoke very little English but called her a ‘stupid b****’ as he attacked her. Once the suspect cut [the victim’s] clothing off, he continued hitting and kicking her,” court documents allege.

He then raped her digitally, deputies say.

The victim kicked the suspect away and was able to flee. She ran to a nearby road, flagged down a passing vehicle, and the driver called 911. By the time officers arrived, Molina had fled.

Deputies tracked down surveillance footage and, with the help of the victim, were able to draw a suspect sketch. For weeks, deputies weren’t able to track Molina down.

Another alleged rape weeks late

But on October 30, there was another alleged rape at a field. It soon became clear that the suspect matched Molina’s description.

“[The second victim] said that the suspect did not speak very good English. [She] provided the suspect directions where she wanted to go. When the suspect passed the turn [she] wanted to make, he said he had to stop by his parents’ house for something important. [She] said they arrived on a dark road in the area of 59th St. E and the suspect pulled out a roughly 6″ dagger-type knife. [She] began begging the suspect not to kill her and acted like she was into having sex with him. The suspect climbed on top of [her] and began pulling at her clothing. She told the suspect that he didn’t need to force her and she was afraid of him,” the court document reads.

Deputies say he raped the victim while wearing a condom.

Employing a ruse, the victim was able to escape. She ran to a nearby home and called 911. Again, the suspect fled before deputies arrived.

While at the hospital, the victim revealed the used condom was still inside her. deputies were able to salvage semen to send to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for testing.

Tracking Molina down

The field of the alleged rape is near Sterino Farms in Puyallup. Officers visited the farm with the sketch of the suspect. The farm owner immediately identified Molina to deputies, according to the court document.

“The owner of the farm advised that Villegas Molina was working as part of a program where workers come to work for 30 to 90 days and then return to Mexico. Villegas Molina was due to return to Mexico on 11/5/2022 by bus,” the court document notes.

Deputies contacted and arrested Molina on November 2. He’s since been charged with three counts of Rape in the First Degree and two counts of Kidnapping in the First Degree. Molina entered a not-guilty plea.

A judge has held him on $1,000,000 bail.

“There are additional incidents with other victims involving a similar modus operandi that remain under investigation. Additional charges may be filed once these investigations are complete,” the court document reads.

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Rantz: Migrant on work program is serial rapist suspect, days away from leaving US