Former Amherst man held on $100K bail after denying he drugged and raped a 15-year-old girl in 2000
NORTHAMPTON — A former Amherst man is being held on $100,000 bail after denying he drugged and raped a teenage girl 13 years ago.
Mario Ayala, 41, formerly of 266 East Hadley Road, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Hampshire Superior Court to charges of rape of a child and administering a drug for the purpose of unlawful sexual intercourse.
According to prosecutors, Ayala was apprehended Aug. 18 by the U.S. Border Patrol on the New York-Canadian border.
During that arrest the outstanding warrant on the rape charges was discovered, according to prosecutors.
Ayala failed to appear for his arraignment on the sexual assault charges in November 2000, which triggered the issuance of the warrant. According to court files, Ayala lured the alleged victim back to an Amherst apartment in The Boulders complex about 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2000.
The victim told investigators she had two drinks from a bottle of alcohol offered by Ayala and remembers walking up a set of stairs into the apartment, but couldn’t remember anything after that until she woke up at home in her parents’ bed about nine hours later. A medical examination revealed evidence of sexual activity, according to court files. It is Gazette policy not to identify victims of sex crimes.
A witness gave a statement to investigators that Ayala assaulted the girl while she was “passed out,” according to court records.
According to prosecutors, the victim’s father, who had been looking for her when she didn’t return home as expected, found her in the apartment with Ayala and the witness.
The witness said the girl’s father demanded to know what had happened and Ayala ran from the building after being confronted. The victim’s father carried her home from the apartment, according to court records.
Ayala also faces charges for being in the United States illegally from El Salvador, according to court files.
He is due back in court on Feb. 12 for a pre-trial hearing.