On February 1, 2018, YCSO received information from an assault victim regarding 33-year-old Michael Ortez. The victim identified herself as Ortez’s girlfriend and explained that he had assaulted both her and their son on January 28, 2018, at their home in the Diamond Valley sub-division of Prescott. On that date, the suspect began punishing their 4-year-son for answering the door earlier without permission. The punishment consisted of multiple hand strikes to the child’s lower back and buttocks. As the strikes became harder, the victim attempted to intervene. Ortez then began hitting the victim’s head causing her to fall to the couch. While on the couch, Ortez choked her until she almost lost consciousness at which time he would briefly release his grip around her neck before choking her again. He also kicked her several times and put his hand over her mouth to prevent screams for help. When the assault concluded, he told her to shower because she was bleeding from her mouth and refused to let her leave.
Based on the severity of the allegations and visible injuries to both victims, the detectives from YCSO’s Criminal Investigations Unit were assigned and immediately conducted forensic interviews of the victim and her 2 children, the 4-year-old who had been assaulted, and his 7-year-old sister. Additional information revealed that during the assault of the victim, Ortez ordered the 7-year-old to get some tape so he could ‘tie mommy up.’ Fortunately, he did not use it. Prior domestic violence assaults involving Ortez were also documented.
On February 1, 2018, Ortez was located driving in the Diamond Valley area and arrested. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including 2 counts of Felony Aggravated Assault, Child Abuse, and Kidnapping. His bond on the case is set at $50,000. Ortez is also on active probation for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. As such, a probation revocation hearing has been initiated. Ortez remains in-custody.
Resources regarding domestic violence issues can be found at http://domesticviolence.az.gov/. We know it takes courage to report domestic violence incidents and YCSO wants victims to know these cases will be investigated thoroughly with those responsible arrested and prosecuted. An extensive support system for victims and their families will also be made available. Remember, “Stop it, while you have a voice.”
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov