Suspected serial rapist makes no objections in trial

Edward Duran stopped his trial before witnesses could take the stand and pleaded no contest to the multiple rapes of six women.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Edward Duran abandoned his trial before witnesses could take the stand, pleading no contest to the multiple rapes of six women.

This isn’t Duran’s first run-in with the law. He had previously been convicted of rape in 1979 and 1989. He served six months on each count.

In 2021, prosecutors were able to link Duran to rapes from 1992 to 1997 after receiving a federal grant to clear the state crime lab backlog.

Law enforcement used family tree databases and genealogy to link Duran’s DNA to a 1997 crime scene. Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez then explained the process.

“Typically, forensic genealogy narrows the circle of suspects to a specific person or group of people within a family line and then comes back to our office to conduct further investigative work,” Torrez said.

In this case, law enforcement was able to pick up Duran’s used fork at a restaurant in Albuquerque.

The prosecution’s timeline indicates that Duran committed some of these crimes while awaiting trial in the 1989 case.

Duran is charged with 15 counts of first-degree sexual penetration. The DA’s office says that in all of the crimes, Duran broke into his victims’ homes, threatened them with a knife and raped them.

One of the victims was scheduled to testify in court Friday when Duran abandoned the trial and pleaded no contest. That means he will accept the charges without pleading guilty.

He faces up to 270 years in prison. A sentencing date for Duran has not yet been set.