Inland Empire News

Southern California serial rape, robbery suspect photo released

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Police released photos of a serial rapist and robber who they say victimized dozens of women across the Southland.

Authorities say this suspect may have attacked at least 30 women in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties - and there may be more.

Surveillance videos from the crime scenes show the suspect gaining entry into massage parlors by acting as a customer. Once inside, the suspect holds his victims at gunpoint.

"He'll then gather, collect all the employees, whoever he can, into a room. He'll disrobe the women a lot of the time, he'll rob them and sexually assault them," said Det. Aurelio Melendrez with the Riverside Police Department.

In one case, he beat a victim so severely he broke her collar bone and knocked out several teeth. The owner of one massage parlor, who asked not to be identified, believes the same man may have robbed her.

She said the suspect pointed a gun at her chest and demanded money. She said another customer came in before the suspect could do anything else. Police have not said if the man in that case is the same as the serial rapist and robber they are now looking for.

Riverside police released still images of the suspect from a 2008 robbery and sexual assault.

Seven law enforcement agencies have been tracking the suspect for several years. They just didn't know they were looking for the same man until DNA connected the crimes to one man.

The suspect has been linked by DNA to five cases, as well as five other cases with similar circumstances.

He is suspected in a 2009 Riverside robbery and sexual assault. But it wasn't until a DNA hit in 2012 that law enforcement was able to connect the case with several others.

"So from 2003 to 2009, he was pretty active. But since then, we haven't gotten anything else. And it brings up the other point that this suspect's DNA profile has been in CODIS for 10 years now," said an investigator in the case.

Investigators held off releasing information to the public believing they had possible suspects. After eliminating them and exhausting all leads, authorities are now asking for the public's help identifying him.

Investigators believe the suspect is targeting massage parlors in general, because the victims are less likely to talk to police due to their status in the country.

If you have any relevant information about this suspect, you're urged to contact the Riverside Police Department at (951) 353-7261.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
sex crimes, robbery, riverside county, san bernardino county, inland empire news, leticia juarez
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