Rapist Caught

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

This quiet neighborhood near the University of Nevada, Reno was the scene of two cases of burglary and sexual assault last July.
At the time, Reno police were baffled--they had no suspects and few leads.
Fast forward to this April when Arizona police captured a man they believe was breaking into women's homes and touching them.
The suspect happened to have a Nevada I-D.
And that's how the connection began.
Det. Barbara Armitage, Reno Police Department, "The kind of crimes and the kind of things that were going on there--they were thinking, hey, he didn't just start doing this. So let's see where he came from, what kind of background he's got. They gave us a call and we talked and had some comparisons about a lot of similar cases that we also had. So we put two and two together and figured it was worth the trip to Phoenix. So, I went to Phoenix."
Nineteen year-old Joseph Ruis-Chavez now sits in a Phoenix jail on suspicion of three counts of sexual assault in Arizona--with possibly more pending.
On top of that, Reno police are confident that they will be able to link Ruis-Chavez to last summer's two incidents and possibly, an additional five from the two summers prior.
Besides the similarities of the crimes--the nature of the break-ins, the licking of victims' legs, and the suspects physical description--in both cities, the suspect lived in the neighborhoods of the assaults. He also matches the composite drawing created after one of the alleged assaults.
However, Reno police say the suspect's young age made it difficult to track him down. "We may not have forensic evidence in a database, we not have fingerprints available to us, mugshots available to us to put people in a photo line-up, so they kind of fly under the radar as juveniles a little bit."
Ruis-Chavez will stand charges in Arizona before returning to Nevada.


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