Jury Selection in Griego Trial Starts Today - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Jury Selection in Griego Trial Starts Today

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Jury selection began Wednesday for the man accused of raping several women last spring and summer.

It was May 2013 when we first heard about the hunt for a suspect in several sexual assaults in Billings. Several weeks later Police Chief Rich St. John said they were looking for a serial rapist.

Women in billings were on edge. Different groups held free self-defense classes hundreds of women showed up. Chief Saint John says the department first learned about Toby Griego as a suspect on July 15th

Following a tip from Crimestoppers, Griego was arrested on August 23rd. Court documents revealed Griego was registered as a sexual offender, convicted of similar crimes in New Mexico in 1998.

Police say they connected Griego to five rapes the first one was reported back in January 2013. On August 26th Griego appeared in justice court for rape, robbery, intimidation and recording the victims. Griego pled not guilty to all charges. He went back to court several times, 40 charges in all, pleading not guilty.

In mid December Griego's attorneys filed a motion for his trial to be moved out of Yellowstone County saying the media coverage prejudiced the community. More motions are filed in early January 2014; Griego's attorneys file a motion to suppress evidence from the trial including a voice recording of the alleged rapist and evidence from his past crimes in New Mexico. Prosecutors asked for a delay in the start of the trial because the state hadn't completed DNA testing of evidence.

In late January Judge Russell Fagg makes a decision on the motions. He rejects the defense's motion to move Toby Griego's trial out of Yellowstone County. But he agrees to the motion to suppress evidence of Griego's previous crimes in New Mexico, but the motion to suppress the voice identification was denied. And the trial date is set for early April.

Toby Griego's trial is expected to start on Monday.

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