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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Update: Prosecutors dropped the charges in the case.

Editor's note: This story contains depictions of sexual assault and rape

Two men were arrested June 17 on suspicion of committing sexual battery at Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina parking lot.

Bernabe Marquez, 48, and Guadalupe Saenz, 21, each face a felony sexual battery charge. 

Marquez and Saenz met the victim while she was drinking at Peppers, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report. They did not speak English and communicated with the victim through the online translation platform Google Translate.

The woman’s roommates called her and said they were locked out of the apartment. 

The woman was intoxicated and asked the two men to drive her to the apartment to give her roommates a key. She entered a white truck with Saenz and Marquez and drove to the apartment, where the victim gave her roommates the key. 

The woman said they drove back to Peppers after dropping off the key. At Peppers, the men allegedly became “handsy,” according to the arrest report.

The two allegedly removed the woman’s shirt, groped her and removed her pants. 

She screamed and was struck in the forehead with a bottle. The woman had a golf ball-sized knot above her right eye, according to the arrest report. 

The victim was raped then she escaped by kicking the two men and running for help. 

GPD arrested the two June 18.

Saenz told officers he dropped the victim off at her apartment and talked about sex before consensually interacting with her. Saenz said the woman was going to get her roommates to join but, after a while, left without talking to the victim again.

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Marquez agreed they met the woman in Peppers and drove her to her apartment but said he fell asleep in the backseat and did not hear or see anything afterward. 

The two were arrested and taken to Alachua County Jail.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back here for updates.

The article has been updated to reflect two men were accused of rape. The Alligator initially reported otherwise.

Contact Gabriel Velasquez Neira at gvelasquezneira@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @gvelasquezn.

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Gabriel Velasquez Neira

Gabriel Velasquez Neira is a second-year Journalism major, and the Audio Editor and Metro GA Reporter. In his free time, he enjoys sleeping, taking photos and playing guitar.


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