A local Marine faces serious charges in connection with an alleged five-year crime spree, according to authorities.
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Ted Amparan, 38, appeared in a downtown courtroom Thursday for a brief status hearing. He is currently in custody on $1.5 million bail.
According to a felony complaint, Amparan is accused of seven felonies, ranging from forcible rape, kidnapping and assault.
Amparan, who family friends say is a member of the Marines Corps, is accused of attacking four separate women. According to a search warrant, most of Amparan's victims were prostitutes. Authorities said he would pick them up on El Cajon Blvd. late at night, and then carry out his violent crimes -- all while wearing his military fatigues.
One woman in 2007 said Amparan "held her down by choking her and as she fought, he held her stronger."
Another victim said Amparan "forced her to the ground and began to tear her clothing off."
Although he has been formally charged in connection with assaults on four women, prosecutors say he is being investigated for additional assaults on other victims.
Court documents allege Amparan brought the women to a parking lot on Camino del Rio South. Detectives say noise from the nearby freeway overpass is so loud that "a person's screams and fights... would be difficult for anyone passing by to hear."
According to the court documents, one woman, identified as "Alicia," was not a prostitute. A Marine, later identified as Amparan, offered her a ride in 2010 after she got lost at a party. The court documents say "she would never normally get into a stranger's car," but "she felt she could trust him" because he was in the military. Soon enough, Amparan was accused of pulling into the same parking lot as the other attacks and trying to rape her. Alicia escaped, ran onto the nearby freeway, and said "she would rather have died by getting hit by a car than at the hands of a rapist."
Amparan's family was in court during Thursday morning's hearing. They did not want to speak on camera, but his wife told 10News reporter Melissa Mecija that "he's innocent."
Family friends say what he is accused of is completely out of character, and they are standing by him during the trial.
Amparan's preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.
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