Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and his deputies are hard at work investigating a series of sexual assaults which have occurred in the Aliso Viejo area over the past year and a half.
The OC Sheriff’s Department believes that this isn’t the first assault by the perpetrator. The Department has drawn a connection between two similar incidents which occurred over a year ago, on January 20, 2020 and April 2, 2020.
“It is vital that this individual is identified and doesn’t have the opportunity to attack again,” Sheriff Barnes said following the most recent incident.
Since the beginning of his term in January 2019, Sheriff Barnes has taken multiple steps to reform the Sheriff’s Department and increase the emphasis on public safety, including implementing body cameras for sheriff’s deputies in the county.
The most recent incident occurred at around 11 p.m. on August 28 in the vicinity of Alicia Parkway and Pacific Park Drive, near the Aliso Creek Trail. A woman walking alone was grabbed and dragged into nearby bushes by a strange man, whereupon she lost consciousness, later waking to find herself alone.
In the first of these incidents, a man walked up to a woman and began conversing with her before attempting to grab her. In the second, a man grabbed a woman and attempted to force her into some nearby bushes. In both of these incidents, the victims were able to fight off the attacker.
DNA samples from the first two attacks confirm that the perpetrator in both was the same person, described as a man in his mid-30s, with a muscular build, dark eyes, and little to no hair. Although the victim in the most recent attack was unable to provide a detailed description, and no DNA match has yet been made, the Sheriff’s Department believes that they are dealing with the same person.
After the first two attacks in 2020, the Sheriff’s Department deployed a task force of more than 100 to investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrator to justice. Their efforts included cooperation with local businesses and the implementation of a multimedia information campaign to raise public awareness.
Anyone who has information regarding these cases that they believe may be helpful to the investigation is encouraged to call the O.C. Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Detail at (714) 647-7419.
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