Moorhead man accused of raping two women at his apartment


MOORHEAD — A Moorhead man has been accused of raping two women at his apartment over the course of two days, according to criminal complaints filed Monday, Oct. 26, in Clay County District Court.

Manuel Garcia Jr., 23, faces up to 30 years in prison for each of the two first-degree felony criminal sexual conduct charges. One alleges he injured a woman using force or coercion, while the other claims he injured a second woman who was mentally impaired or incapacitated.

There are similarities in the two cases, but the Moorhead Police Department confirmed each case involved two different women. The women in each case were at unnamed bars in May 2019 drinking with friends before the separate incidents, according to court documents.

In the first complaint, a woman said she began to feel tingly and foggy after having a few drinks the night before the alleged rape, and she was not sure what was happening. She told investigators that she remembered getting into a taxi with a man, later identified as Garcia.

The next thing she remembered was waking up naked on May 10, 2019, in Garcia’s apartment, with him on top while choking and raping her, according to the complaint. The woman told him to stop, but he said, “just take it,” the complaint alleged.


She eventually left, called 911 and went to the hospital, the complaint said.

In the second complaint, the other woman said she had been drinking with friends on May 11, 2019. The next thing she remembered after leaving her drink on the table to go smoke was waking up naked in an apartment later identified as Garcia’s, the complaint said.

She also left the apartment and went to the hospital, according to the complaint.

Samples obtained from sexual assault kits in the two cases matched Garcia’s DNA, the complaints said.

Garcia had not been booked into the Clay County Jail as of Monday afternoon. The complaints said his whereabouts are unknown.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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