Antioch Police Arrest Trio on Suspicion of Drugging, Sexually Assaulting Women - NBC Bay Area
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Antioch Police Arrest Trio on Suspicion of Drugging, Sexually Assaulting Women

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    Antioch Police Arrest Trio on Suspicion of Drugging, Sexually Assaulting Women
    Antioch Police Department
    Cori Murphy

    Police have three suspects in custody for the rape and sexual assault of two Antioch girls earlier this year at an Antioch motel.

    The assaults took place on Feb. 8 and Feb. 14 at the Economy Inn at 520 E. 18th St., according to police.

    Police have arrested 43-year-old Cori Murphy and 23-year-old Sarah Denzer, both of Antioch, and 27-year-old Rose Ann Pennell of the unincorporated Contra Costa County community of Bay Point. The three are being held in the county jail on $4 million bail each, police said Friday.

    On Feb. 13, one of the girls, who is 16 years old, and an 18-year-old friend from Brentwood bumped into Pennell, a family acquaintance of one of them, police said.

    Allegedly, Pennell invited the two to a hotel room to hang out. When the three got to the room, Murphy and Denzer were there. The girl and her friend did not know Murphy or Denzer, according to police.

    Allegedly, both were given alcohol and drugs. The 16-year-old became unconscious that afternoon and the 18-year-old was dropped off at a business for her father to pick her up, police said.

    She was in an altered state of mind, but police do not believe she was assaulted.

    Upon waking up the next day, the 18-year-old realized that her friend may still be at the hotel and expressed concern. Her father took her to the hotel where she found her friend groggy and partly unclothed. Police were called to the scene.

    The girl recalled being sexually assaulted and raped throughout the night by Pennell and Murphy, police said.

    Officers arrested Pennell and Murphy and took them to the county jail. But the pair and Denzer denied all allegations levied against them.

    Police said they presented the case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney on Feb. 16, but not enough evidence was available to charge the two suspects.

    On July 19, as police were examining evidence, they identified another victim.

    Allegedly, the victim, a 14-year-old Antioch girl, had been drugged, raped and sexually assaulted at the same hotel on Feb. 8.

    Police implicated Denzer in this assault and officers arrested her on Aug. 19.

    On Aug. 23, police again presented evidence to the District Attorney.

    Murphy was arrested again on Aug. 24. Before he was taken to jail, police checked his van where allegedly they found a 32-year-old Martinez woman who was incoherent and partly unclothed.

    The woman was taken to a hospital. Police are currently investigating the incident.

    Pennell was arrested again on Aug. 27 after she was located in the State of Washington.

    All three defendants have been charged with forcible rape, two counts of human trafficking, six counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of lewd acts on a child, aged 14 or 15, and two counts of oral copulation of a minor, according to the Contra Costa County district attorney's office.

    Any other possible victims are asked to call Detective Perkinson with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6932.

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