Warrant: Man sexually assaulted woman he brought to Durham from Mexico, sister-in-law tried to bribe her

North Carolina

Melchor Rangel. (Courtesy of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office)

DURHAM N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police said a man repeatedly sexually assaulted a woman he brought into the country from Mexico, and his sister-in-law attempted to bribe the victim to drop the charges.

According to a search warrant obtained Tuesday, the victim reported the belated sexual assault on Oct. 6, 2011. The victim told police Melchor Rangel had assaulted her for several years after he brought her to the United States from Mexico.

The victim became pregnant as a result of the assaults. She told police at least one of her two children were Rangel’s, the warrant said.

Rangel was charged with second-degree rape. He had been imprisoned prior to the victim’s October 2011 report, the warrant said. Durham County records show Rangel is currently incarcerated for first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree rape, a true bill of indictment for first-degree forcible rape, and a true bill of indictment for first-degree kidnapping.

Police became aware in January 2020 that Rangel would be released from prison in 2021. On Feb. 4, 2020, police went to Albemarle Correctional Institute to collect Rangel’s DNA. Police later learned that, on the same day, Rangel made a call to his sister-in-law, Martha Langunez.

Police then spoke to the victim on Feb 12, 2020. They learned Langunez called her several times on Feb. 4, 2020, to offer money and land in exchange for dropping the charges against Rangel. The warrant also said Langunez contacted the victim’s sister in Mexico and offered her land in the country if the victim dropped the charges.

Police obtained a warrant charging Langunez with intimidating a witness.

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