- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Santa Barbara County authorities say a man in the country illegally has been charged in the rape and fatal assault of a 64-year-old woman at her home in Santa Maria.

Prosecutors say Marilyn Pharis was attacked with a hammer and sexually assaulted in her home on the morning of July 24. She later died of her injuries.

Twenty-nine-year-old Victor Aureliano Martinez was arrested shortly after the attack.

The Santa Maria Times reports that (https://bit.ly/1KSiQmk ) before Pharis died, Martinez pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, sexual assault and burglary. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer.

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin tells the newspaper that Martinez has been living in the country illegally.

Prosecutors and police plan a Friday press conference on the case.


Information from: Santa Maria Times, https://www.santamariatimes.com/

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