Guayaquil man arrested in Montanita tourist rapes; police searching for more victims

Aug 9, 2016 | 8 comments

A man arrested for allegedly raping of two British tourists in Montanita may be involved in several others, police say.

The Montanita street scene.

The Montanita street scene.

Although the rapes occurred in May, police only took the man into custody last week. They say they have been investigating the case since the two women filed a complaint in Quito days after the alleged attack but had only recently had sufficient evidence to make the arrest. One reason for the delay, they say, is that they believe the suspect may be a serial rapist. They are appealing to Montanita residents for information about other rapes that have not been reported

Identified as Mario M. of Guayaquil, the suspect had a long-term lease on a room in a Montanita hostal popular with tourists. Police say he visited on weekends and was well-known in local bars and restaurants.

The British victims, in their 20s, said the man offered them his room for the night, then drugged their drinks and committed the rapes while they were unconscious.

The rapes occurred three months after two Argentinian women were raped and murdered in Montanita, drawing international attention. Hotel and restaurant owners in the area have reported a sharp decline in business following the murders and say things got even worse after the April earthquake.

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