A Sierra Vista man charged last summer with multiple felonies including rape, kidnapping, and weapons misconduct will be back in a Cochise County courtroom next month to find out when he will stand trial.
The most serious charges against Michael Rocha Melchor allege he locked a former girlfriend and her young children in his house after she went there on Aug. 14. The woman had obtained a court-ordered Injunction Against Harassment a month earlier after Melchor, 40, allegedly stalked her at a public park as part of a pattern of harassment.
Melchor faces decades in prison if convicted of the 11 felonies contained in three county grand jury indictments. He has numerous felony convictions the last 20 years, including a 2000 domestic violence aggravated assault, a 2002 domestic violence unlawful imprisonment, a 2005 domestic violence assault, and a 2012 conviction for weapons misconduct by a felon.
Court records obtained by Arizona Daily Independent show the woman began dating Melchor in Spring 2020, but the relationship soon soured.
“She stated Melchor became possessive, often times going into fits of rage, throwing things and turning over table,” Sierra Vista Det. Thomas Ransford wrote in a probable cause statement filed in support of Melchor’s arrest. “She said he would often lock the doors from the inside with a key and she would not be able to leave.”
The woman also reported that Melchor forced her at times to have sex and often carried guns, despite the fact he is a prohibited possessor as a felon. However, the woman continued to have contact with him even after a July 18 incident in a park during which Melchor allegedly stalked the woman. He is also charged with showing a nude photo of the woman to other people, including a minor.
During the incident in August, the woman told Ransford that Melchor started acting aggressively on the evening of Aug. 14, even calling her by someone else’s name. The woman was able to use her phone to send a message to a relative seeking help but before the message wasn’t received and relayed to 911 until 7:30 a.m. Aug. 15.
In the meantime, the woman says she was raped by Melchor and locked with her children in the house, Ransford’s report notes.
When officers arrived at Melchor’s residence it took nearly 30 minutes before the occupants came out, court records show. During that time Melchor purportedly hid a gun in the kitchen.
A court-authorized search of the house led to the discovery of that gun as well as an air rifle pellet gun that looks like an M-4 rifle, Ransford noted. The detective also confirmed a deadbolt on the door could be locked by a key from the inside or outside.
The 11 charges alleged in the indictments against Melchor list three counts of kidnapping, two counts of weapons misconduct, as well as one count each of sexual assault, domestic violence stalking, unlawful disclosure of nude images, furnishing harmful items to a minor, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.