PROVO — As the case of a Santaquin man accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls at knifepoint prepares to go to trial, a second case alleging that the man intimidated his victims in court has been moved to Provo.
Marcos Barajas, 34, of Santaquin, is charged in 4th District Court with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies, as well as six other charges.
He is accused of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 15 and 16, in their bedroom at knifepoint. After Barajas left their room, the girls locked their door and called police. Officers arrived as Barajas was leaving the house and tried to go back in, only to discover that the doors had been locked, according to police. He then allegedly shattered a sliding glass door to get in before he was arrested.
After questions were raised about Barajas' competency, a court-ordered evaluation was conducted and he was determined to be competent to stand trial in March 2018, court records state. Later, the court proceedings were delayed when Barajas requested to represent himself.
"The defendant still refuses to cooperate or communicate with counsel. The defendant states he wishes to represent himself and requests all discovery," according to court docket entry on Jan. 8.
But a few days later, Barajas agreed to work with a new attorney. A four-day trial is scheduled to begin July 15.
Since his arrest, Barajas has accumulated new charges.
During a court hearing on Jan. 3, 2018, before court was in session, Barajas spotted a family member of one of his alleged victims sitting in the courtroom and "began yelling at the victim's family member in Spanish, which scared the victim's family member," charging documents state.
During the preliminary hearing, while one of the alleged victims was on the witness stand, Barajas "stood up and called the victim a liar. As (Barajas) was being removed from the courtroom, he made lunging movements toward the victim. The victim was upset and began to cry," the charges state.
Barajas was charged with two counts of retaliation against a witness, a third-degree felony. On Wednesday, that case was transferred from 4th District Court in American Fork to 4th District Court in Provo.
On Jan. 28, Barajas threw urine in the face of a Utah County sheriff's deputy while at the jail, according to charging documents. He was subsequently charged with a third-degree felony.
He faces other charges connected to the sex assault of the two teens, including two counts of witness tampering and domestic violence in the presence of a child, third-degree felonies; criminal mischief and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, class B misdemeanors.