A man who is suspected of raping a woman outside her apartment complex in unincorporated Hayward was tracked down and arrested partly because he tried to use a credit card that he stole from the victim, authorities said today. Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said 38-year-old Miguel Torres, a convicted felon who’s suspected of sexually assaulting the 19-year-old woman early Saturday morning, was arrested at his home in Hayward on Wednesday night.
Nelson said investigators believe that Torres followed the woman after she left a friend’s house in the area of Jackson Street and Harder Road in unincorporated Hayward and then drove alone to her apartment complex nearby. However, authorities don’t know how Torres spotted the woman and what prompted him to follow her, he said. When the woman arrived at her apartment complex she got her bag and other items from the trunk of her car but Torres rushed at her from behind, covered her mouth and told her he had a gun and would kill her if she didn’t cooperate, according to Nelson. Torres then struck her on the head with his fist, knocking her to the ground, and raped her in a grassy area outside the complex, Nelson said.
After the assault, Torres took the woman’s purse and drove away, according to Nelson. The investigation went slowly but authorities eventually found the vehicle that they believe Torres used, Nelson said. Later, investigators traced transactions on the woman’s stolen credit card and found that Torres used it twice to try to buy sexual performance pills, Nelson said. However, the charges didn’t go through because the victim had canceled her card, he said. Torres’ attempts to use the woman’s credit card “cemented our case against him” and led to his arrest, Nelson said.
Torres is being held in custody on suspicion of sexual assault, rape and robbery and the case against him will be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to file charges against him, according to Nelson. Torres previously was convicted of attempted murder in Santa Clara County and served 11 years at the San Quentin State Prison, Nelson said. While he was in prison, Torres was convicted of another attempted murder charge for attacking a fellow inmate, according to Nelson. Torres was paroled in 2010.
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