'Clear and present danger': Man accused of raping women he met on dating apps appears in court

HOUSTON – The man who is accused of raping women he met via dating apps over the course of a year appeared in court for the first time Friday.

Jorge Mar, 24, was charged with first-degree sexual assault and first-degree aggravated robbery in connection with an Aug. 29, 2017, attack on a woman who said she met Mar on MeetMe.com.

At Friday’s hearing, prosecutors laid out graphic details of the accusations against Mar, saying he used a knife to force the woman into the backseat of his car and then raped her before stealing her phone. The victim identifies Mar as the suspect from an array of photos that was shown to her, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also said that a man’s DNA recovered at the scene of the Aug. 29 attack matched DNA from a similar case in Harris County. The victim in that case described similar circumstances that led to the attack on her, prosecutors said.

Mar is the suspect in 10 other cases in Harris County, with seven of those being sexual assaults, prosecutors said.

“The state believes the defendant presents a clear and present danger to the women of Harris County,” the prosecutor at Friday’s hearing said.

Mar is also charged in an August aggravated sexual assault in a case in Montgomery County. An 18-year-old girl agreed to meet with Mar after communicating with him through a mobile dating app, deputies said. 

The sheriff's office said during the meeting Mar held a knife to her neck and sexually assaulted her.

While the state requested a $1 million bond for each charge in Harris County, the defense argued that the lifelong Harris County resident’s first child is due in February and that he would never be able to satisfy the bond.

Ultimately, the judge ordered Mar held in jail on $1 million bond on the sexual assault charge and a $100,000 bond on the robbery charge.

Houston police have asked the media not to show Mar’s face out of fear that doing so would compromise the investigation of the other cases.

VIDEO: Watch video from courtroom

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