The Philippine Star

Belmonte lauds QCPD for rape suspect’s arrest

- – Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte yesterday lauded the local police for the arrest of a suspected serial rapist and robber.

“We express our gratitude to the QCPD (Quezon City Police District) for arresting the suspect in a series of rape and robbery in the city,” Belmonte said.

She called on the police to ensure that Marianito Sta. Maria, 27, would be held accountabl­e for the crimes he committed.

Probers said Sta. Maria allegedly victimized at least seven massage therapists.

Sta. Maria was apprehende­d by operatives of the Cubao police station in front of a bus terminal along JP Santos street in Malibay, Pasay at around 3:40 a.m., QCPD director Brig. Gen. Danilo Macerin said at a press briefing.

Macerin said the operation stemmed from the complaint of a massage therapist, who told probers the suspect raped her in an apartelle in Barangay E. Rodriguez on Monday.

According to the victim, Sta. Maria contacted her through social media and asked for a two-hour massage in exchange for P2,000.

After the massage session, the victim asked Sta. Maria for the payment.

“Instead of handing the money, the suspect pulled out a knife and threatened to stab the victim,” Macerin said.

Sta. Maria allegedly raped the victim. He also took her money and cell phone.

A follow-up operation led to the suspect’s arrest in Pasay.

Macerin said the other victims of Sta. Maria showed up at the police station following his arrest.

The suspect is being held by police on charges of rape and robbery.

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