A man jailed in 2022 on charges of sexual assault and family violence is facing new charges.
Mark Monroe Ferguson, 40, is now facing six counts of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an investigation into attacks on three women.
Court documents read the attacks happened in 2022 and are being investigated by special agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Human Trafficking division in Houston. Investigators said the women were working as prostitutes and Ferguson first approached them pretending to be a customer.
DPS agents wrote two of the women worked along the so-called “Bissonnet Track” between the Southwest Freeway and Beltway 8. Court records read Ferguson is accused of picking up the women in his truck and raping them at gunpoint. One woman was able to get the license plate number of the truck, which initially led agents to Ferguson.
Court records read agents learned of a third attack happening off the Gulf Freeway at Bellfort. DPS agents write that woman also said she was raped at gunpoint by a man matching Ferguson’s description. Ferguson was originally charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault in 2022 after two women identified Ferguson in a photo lineup. Court documents show two more counts of aggravated sexual assault were filed after lab tests determined Ferguson’s DNA was a possible match to the third woman.
A search warrant filed at the end of June 2023 sought another sample of Ferguson’s DNA for more testing. Ferguson was arrested in July of 2022. DPS agents wrote a gun matching the description of the weapon used in the sexual assaults was found in Ferguson’s truck.
“You are exposed to people who are looking to purchase you and thinking they can do whatever they want with you because they bought you,” said Jacquelyn Aluotto, co-founder and president of No Trafficking Zone.
Alutto’s organization works to disrupt and dismantle trafficking hot spots through legislation and education. She said many sex workers are forced to walk the streets and are frequent targets for violence, but rarely report attacks.
“You put yourself in a more vulnerable position for law enforcement to ask you more questions about what you’re doing,” said Aluotto.
Wendi Turner with Hope over Hurt, an outreach organization combating human trafficking, said many prostitutes also don’t report attacks for fear of what their pimps will do.
“Not only are they denied food or water, but worse, they can be brutally beaten,” said Turner.
Both Turner and Aluotto said this is why many predators target prostitutes.
“In their mind, these women, or these sex workers, are used to the treatment so I can get away with it,” Turner said is the mindset of those who prey on sex workers.
Prior to the sexual assault charges, Ferguson was charged with family and released on bond. Court records show his bond was revoked in August 2022 for failing to obtain GPS tracking as ordered, and because he was charged with two counts of sexual assault “two days after being placed on bond supervision.”
Court records read Ferguson has a prior history of family assault charges, evading arrest, marijuana possession and solicitation of prostitution. His attorney declined to comment at this time on the recent charges. Ferguson remains in jail on bonds ranging from $250,000 to $350,000 on the sexual assault charges.