Billings, MT -

A state judge has ruled a man charged with raping three women and assaulting a fourth can receive a fair trial in Billings, but he agreed with a defense request to suppress evidence of a previous rape conviction.

District Judge Russell Fagg issued his ruling late Monday in the case of 41-year-old Toby Griego, who is charged in a series of home-invasion robberies and the sexual assault of three women. He has pleaded not guilty to 40 charges.

Griego's attorneys sought to separate the charges into six cases -- one case for each of the four victims, one drug case and one stemming from photos and videos recovered from Griego's phone.

Fagg agreed to separate out the drug case, but ruled the rest of the charges will be tried together because of their similarities.