Jury deliberations continue in the case of Luis Munoz, accused of raping a woman in Bakersfield
By: Olivia LaVoice


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Today the jury is continuing to deliberate in the case of Luis Munoz, a man accused of raping a woman in a southwest Bakersfield home, and attempting to rape another woman in central Bakersfield, within a two week span of each other in 2014.

It's not the jury's job to determine if indeed two Bakersfield women were attacked by a stranger with a knife after dropping children off at an elementary school. Those are facts that aren't disputed. They're asked to decide whether or not that stranger was Luis Munoz.

It's been an emotional trial where both victims took the stand. The defendant Luis Munoz did not. Prosecutor Tuivati says DNA that links to Munoz was found in the first victim's home. but, she urged the jury to remember the case doesn't rely on the DNA evidence, because both women positively identified Munoz as their attacker, not to mention Bakersfield police matched him to a sketch done by the sheriff's department.

On top of all that she says, Munoz was in a hit and run crash on the same street around the same time that the second victim says she was attacked by a man matching his description, as well as his cars.

The defense asked the jury, how can two victims positively identify a man when the first victim, who helped put together the sketch, only remembered a neck tattoo, and didn't recall any others on his body? The second victim who identified him didn't recall he had any. And about that DNA he says, he asks, why didn't the prosecutor have the DNA swabs tested from the bed where the rape took place?

To that prosecutor Tuivaiti replied that once they had positive DNA matches to Munoz from the crime scene, that was enough, they didn't need to test every swab once they a match. And to the tattoo's she reminded the jury that what these women went through was traumatic, they can't be expected to remember every detail, what they did remember was significant, which is Munoz's face.

Munoz's defense disagrees with the prosecutor and the law enforcement who believe the sketch matches up to munoz and urged the jury to consider the DNA evidence in this case isn't as exact as it may appear, because the swabs that were tested had multiple DNA profiles on them, which he says makes a positive ID less accurate. Prosecutor Tuivaiti responded the defense has no evidence to back up that claim.

The jury will meet later this morning to continue deliberating in the case against Luis Munoz.

Courtesy: Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.

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