A Houston County judge has rescheduled the trial of a Dothan man facing multiple sex charges to Sept. 23.

Joseph Ramirez, 36, of Radford Circle, was arrested May 1, 2018, and is charged with four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, and other related charges.

A grand jury indicted Ramirez on multiple sex crime charges on Sept. 20, 2018.

Dothan Police Lt. Lynn Watkins said the victims’ mother brought the children to the police department after she was informed of the alleged crime, and the investigation started immediately.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Ramirez’s home. Before the search warrant was executed, Ramirez told police he had a firearm and made threats against himself and officers if they attempted to take him into custody.

Watkins believes the suspect made the threats in the hope that charges against him would not be pursued. The Special Reaction Team was used to execute the search warrant. As the SRT approached the residence, officers discovered Ramirez had barricaded the doors and covered all the windows in the home. The team proceeded to make entry into the home through a window, and took Ramirez into custody.

During a preliminary hearing, Ramirez’s attorney said that the complainant went to the police initially because she was mad because Ramirez was having an affair, not because the crimes actually occurred.

According Dothan Police Investigator Chris Thompson, during the direct examination, no physical evidence was submitted to show the victims were sexually abused. However, an interview at the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center was conducted and both victims separately informed the staff in detail about alleged crimes committed by Ramirez.

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Follow Michele Forehand on Twitter @micheleforehan1

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