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7:55am — Alleged Rape Victim Commits Suicide

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Trial of accused police impersonator will go forward, Dona Ana County DA says.

A woman who said she was raped by a man impersonating a police officer after she left a Las Cruces nightclub on March 9, 2006, has shot and killed herself, police told the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Police spokesman Dan Trujillo told the Sun-News that the 30-year-old woman died at an El Paso hospital Friday morning of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after she shot herself on Thursday night.

The woman had told police she was stopped by a vehicle with flashing lights and that a man approached her car asking to see her driver's license. She was struck on the side of the head and sexually assaulted, the Sun-News said.

District Attorney Susana Martinez told the paper that despite the woman's death the case against 22-year-old Joshua Ray Garcia — the man accused of the woman's rape — would go forward because Garcia has been linked to the assault by DNA evidence.

Garcia is also accused in a separate case from Nov. 12, 2005, when a man forced his way into an apartment and sexually assaulted a woman, the Sun-News said.

Martinez said she couldn't say if the alleged sexual assault was the sole reason the woman in the 2006 case committed suicide, the paper reported.

"I couldn't tell you that I'm positive it was because of that. Only she could do that," Martinez told the Sun-News. "But her mother saw her suffer a lot because of the consequences of being beaten and raped."