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Torture Suspect Must Stand Trial

A judge Friday ruled David Parker Ray must stand trial in the kidnap and sexual torture of two New Mexico women who testified they were sodomized and held for days in padlocked collars.

District Judge Neil Mertz said the evidence was sufficient to show Ray may have committed the crimes outlined in the 25-count indictment against him. The charges include kidnapping, aggravated battery and sexual assault.

District Attorney Ron Lopez said he was pleased with the outcome of the two-day preliminary hearing, but is sure there are other victims who have not yet been identified. "I don't think he was after somebody who was willing. He likes to see the pain and the torture," Lopez said.

Ray's attorney, Jeff Rein, had argued that some of the charges should be dismissed since his client did not hold the gun used to threaten the women and the victims' injuries were not sufficient to prove great bodily harm.

Two women testified at the hearing of being abducted, chained, and sexually tortured. An Albuquerque woman screamed at Ray and wept on the witness stand as she described how she broke free after three days of being held against her will.

The 22-year-old said she fought back with an ice pick and fled Ray's lakeside mobile home naked with a padlocked metal collar and chain on her neck. "I ran and ran and ran," she said. "It seemed like I ran forever. I seen some door open in some trailer some lady was in some trailer. I just grabbed her and told her to help me."

Ray also is accused of abducting and torturing another woman a month earlier, she also testified against at the pre-trail hearing.

An acquaintance of Ray has also been charged with murdering a woman who vanished from an Elephant Butte bar two years ago. Police say Dennis Roy Yancy murdered 22 year-old Marie Parker, who disappeared in 1997. Her body has not been found. And Yancy's lawyers say he will plead not guilty.

Investigators still have not ruled out other homicides, arrests or victims, in an investigation that generated more than 1,000 pieces of evidence, over 100 leads and involves as many as 10 states.

Ray's co-defendant, Cynthia Lea Hendy, 39, is also charged in the case. Hendy has waived a preliminary hearing, and the charges against her have been reduced from 25 counts to five. Her attorney entered an innocent plea for her Thursday.

Under a proposed plea bargain released Friday, Hendy to plead guilty to the five charges, testify against Ray, and serve a sentence of at least 12 years in prison but not more than 54. Judge Mertz has not yet signed the agreement.

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