Trial begins for accused rapist

Opening statements began in Orange County Superior Court this week in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting two women in Newport Beach and Irvine.

Charges against Travis Dewayne Batten, 31, include two felony counts of forcible rape, one felony count each of assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, forced sodomy, forced sexual penetration with a foreign object, kidnapping and residential burglary, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Batten, an auto mechanic who lived in Irvine and worked in Newport, also faces sentencing enhancements for allegations of committing sexual offenses during the commission of a burglary and tying up or binding a victim. If convicted, he faces up to 176 years to life in state prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors alleged that in May 2005, Batten, then 23, was wearing a mask when he broke into a 40-year-old Newport Beach woman's home while she was away.

When she returned, he attacked her, taped her hands and mouth, and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors allege.

The woman, who was also punched in the head and threatened, called 911 after the assailant fled, according to authorities.

Newport Beach police collected DNA evidence, which was later used to connect the incident to a November 2006 sexual assault in Irvine.

In that incident, Batten is accused of breaking into a 21-year-old woman's home while she was in the shower. After she got out of the shower, Batten allegedly tied her hands and raped her.

Prosecutors allege that Batten then sodomized the woman and raped her a second time before leaving the house.

Batten was arrested in July 2011 while he was driving to work at a Newport Beach car dealership.

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