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Sexual predator allegedly targeted homeless victims in Phoenix

Robert Incorvaia mug shot
Posted at 3:39 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 15:32:26-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix police announced additional charges Friday against an alleged sexual predator who primarily targeted homeless and mentally ill women around the Valley and was arrested by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office recently.

"This is disgusting," Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said during a Thursday afternoon press conference with reporters.

"The specific category of victims [he] targeted were vulnerable, living on the street, often times with mental illness or schizophrenia. His tactics were to find ways to entice them often through resources or housing stability."

Robert Incorvaia, 51, was arrested on July 31 on four counts of kidnapping and three counts of sexual assault, according to charging documents.

On Friday, Phoenix police announced that they've also identified three additional alleged victims in their jurisdiction, all females. Two of the three victims were teenagers at the time, the third was an adult. Incorvaia faces an additional 10 counts of sexual assault, six counts of aggravated assault, one count of kidnapping and one count of threatening and intimidating related to the alleged assaults that took place in Phoenix.

MCSO says during their interview, Incorvaia stated one of his nicknames was 'Rob the rapist.'

MCSO said Incorvaia would target homeless women, sometimes near 19th and Northern avenues, and offer to help them, with either a shower, food, job, or other assistance. He would then allegedly gain the victims' trust, drive them in his orange Hummer to a home near New River and sexually assault them, MCSO said.

In addition to the brutal sexual assaults, many of the women allege physical abuse.

Some of the alleged victims were tied up with rope, strapped to chairs, slapped, punched, stepped on and thrown into walls.

"A second victim reports being slapped, strangled and kept for a period of time," said the prosecutor, during Robert's first court appearance. "The third victim said she was hit and told she would be his sex slave and would never walk again...The victim walked about a mile and a half in June - after being physically and sexually assaulted by the defendant - to a neighboring home."

Incorvaia has not faced serious felony charges before, but the prosecutor says his past shows a propensity for sexual violence and control.

"His now ex-wife also reported physical and sexual violence when she obtained orders of protection against him," said the prosecutor.

MCSO believed there could be additional victims in the case, so they contacted other nearby agencies. Phoenix police then found three additional cases that matched the same description, including the area the women met Incorvaia.

MCSO said they received the first complaint about Incorvaia in February 2020. During their investigation, they identified three more victims who provided information to MCSO. Including the cases identified in Phoenix, the number of alleged victims is now 7.

"The volume of those that he interacted with was extremely high," said Sheriff Penzone.

In his initial court appearance, Incorvaia did not have an attorney but vehemently maintained his innocence.

"I did not rape anybody. I did not sexually assault anybody," he said." Everything is being twisted...speaking to these detectives has done nothing but hurt me."

According to his statements during the police interview, Incorvaia told detectives the sex was consensual and that he would give the women drugs in exchange.

"The defendant has essentially told us that he is doing this with thousands of women, five to seven times a week," said the prosecutor, describing Incorvaia's defense.

Investigators say the statements from the suspect do not match with the many stories from the victims or the physical evidence found at the scene.

Blood was found on a chair, some of a victim's hair was found surrounding a bloody hole in the wall, and rope was discovered during a search warrant.

Tragically, the abuse of unsheltered women is an all too common reality.

"About 90% of people who are experiencing homelessness, experience some type of assault. Whether it's physical, sexual. It is something that is rampant," said Cameron Stevenson, with the Arizona Housing Coalition.

The investigation is ongoing. MCSO is requesting anyone with information about Incorvaia to contact MCSO at 602-876-1011, 602-876-TIPS or Tips@mcso.maricopa.gov. Please reference report # IR20-009013.