Aliso Viejo Sexual Assault Suspect Sought by California Deputies
Sheriff’s investigators are searching for a man suspected of sexual assault that may also be connected to two other incidents from 2020 in Aliso Viejo, officials said in a statement Sunday.
On Sunday morning, a woman in her 40s reported a possible sexual assault near the area of Pacific Park Drive and Alicia Parkway in Aliso Viejo.
The woman said the incident occurred last night at around 11 p.m. as she walked in the area alone.
She says she was approached from behind by a suspect who grabbed her and dragged her into bushes near the Aliso Creek Trail. The woman lost consciousness and when she awoke the suspect was gone.
The woman was unable to provide a description of the suspect or what occurred after she was kidnapped and dragged into the bushes due to the circumstances, the statement said.
Deputies conducted a thorough search of the area on Sunday morning where the assault occurred.
This incident occurred around the same area where two sexual assaults were reported close to Woodfield Park in 2020.
On January 20, 2020, a sexual assault occurred in the area of Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo, the statement said.
A 22-year-old woman reported that an unknown man attempted to talk to her while she was skateboarding, then unexpectedly grabbed her as she fought and screamed.
The second incident occurred on Thursday, April 2, 2020, when deputies responded to Woodfield Park after a woman reported a man grabbed her from behind and forced her into the bushes off the hiking trail, just east of the baseball fields.
The victim, a woman in her 30s, fought back and screamed for help and the suspect fled the area.
The suspect was described as a man in his mid-30s, dark eyes, little-to-no hair, a muscular build, wearing a black shirt, black shorts and tennis shoes, the statement said.
“It is vital that this individual is identified and doesn’t have the opportunity to attack again,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. “While our investigators continue their tireless attempts to identify this suspect, we implore the community to come forward if they have any information to share.”
Working with the Orange County Crime Lab, suspect DNA was collected from both victims. The suspect DNA profiles from both incidents in 2020 matched, but do not match DNA in existing law enforcement databases, officials said.
Following the 2020 incidents, the Sheriff’s Department set up a task force to identify and arrest the suspect.
A team of more than 100 Sheriff’s Department personnel ran multiple operations in the area. In addition, investigators worked with local businesses on leads and launched a public information campaign that included social media, traditional media and text message alerts.
However, the task force operations did not result in identifying a suspect.
Special Victims Detail investigators are leading the investigation and will work with the Orange County Crime Lab to determine if suspect DNA can be collected. If DNA is collected, it will be analyzed to determine if it matches DNA from the 2020 incidents, officials said.
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