Prosecutors who have charged a traveling businessman with raping a woman he met in a Bloomington hotel will call a witness willing to testify that he carried out a similar attack against her in a California motel more than 18 years ago.

Jimmy J. Hortiz, 42, of The Dalles, Ore., has been in the Hennepin County jail since being charged more than three months ago with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree assault in connection with the attack in the early hours of Nov. 30 in the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington.

The woman, who was 27 at the time of the Bloomington assault, told police soon after the incident that Hortiz was a stranger who raped her and rendered her unconscious several times, the charges said.

Earlier this month, prosecutors informed the court and the defense that if the case goes to trial, they want Judge Kerry Meyer to allow a woman to testify that Hortiz raped her in a Red Roof Inn in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame in the summer of 2000 while he was a guest there on a business trip.

Securing the woman’s testimony will not only “prove defendant’s motive [and] intent” but show there is a “common scheme” in the 2000 case and the 2018 rape in the Bloomington hotel room, according to a filing by Assistant County Attorney Rachel Kraker.

The criminal complaint said the woman was with a group drinking in the Bloomington hotel bar and next remembered being in a room with Hortiz. She said he undressed her, became “extremely angry” and started choking her.

He also punched the woman, grabbed her by the hair and shoved her head into a dresser, the complaint added. A hospital exam revealed a black eye, bruised hands and choke marks on her neck. She also had other injuries consistent with sexual assault.

The woman had on clothing that was not hers: a large men’s T-shirt and mismatched socks, the charges continued. She did not know where her clothes were. She said she later learned she was wearing her attacker’s clothing.

Meyer could hear details from the California case as soon as April 15 during an evidentiary hearing before ruling on admissibility.

Hortiz is represented in the Hennepin County case by the public defender’s office. A representative for that office declined to comment on the prosecution’s effort to have the woman from the California case tell her story at trial.

Doubt in California

While the prosecution’s court filing said with certainty that Hortiz “committed an act of sexual battery” against the woman in the California hotel, the charges were dismissed by a judge soon after a pretrial hearing.

Hortiz’s attorney in the California case, Steve Chase, said this week that his client testified during that pretrial hearing and Judge Barbara Mallach “found Jimmy’s testimony to be credible. ... Case dismissed, and Jimmy was released to go home to Missouri. I remember being quite impressed with him and his version of events.”

The San Mateo County prosecutor on the case, Sean Gallagher, stopped short of validating Hortiz’s testimony, but he said it left him thinking “we were not going to be able to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

And while he said agrees to this day that the case should have been dismissed, Gallagher added, “A decision not to proceed to trial doesn’t mean I thought he was innocent.”

Gallagher said he doesn’t recall the specifics of the allegations from more than 18 years ago, but he would be limited in what he could say because the details are now part of the Minnesota case.

In the Bloomington rape case, the woman told the Star Tribune soon after Hortiz was charged that he “was trying to kill me. I became unconscious four times. … All I wanted to do was get on the other side of the hotel [room] door.”

She said Hortiz kept threatening to kill her; she believes he should also be charged with attempted murder. “I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what set him off,” she said.

Hortiz’s employer, Cardinal Glass in Hood River, Ore., said it was disturbed by the allegations in Hennepin County and fired him.