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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Monday October 14th, 2019 :: 08:49 a.m. PDT

Community

DNA evidence links suspect to a 2002 rape

On September 13, Juan Lopes, 39 years old, Santa Rosa, was arrested for rape and kidnapping of a 16 year old.
 
On March 17, 2002, 1:30 a.m., a 16-year-old girl was walking on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa. At the intersection with Hampton Way, a man began walking towards the girl and calling to her. The girl did not know the man, later identified as Lopes. The girl became frightened and tried to run away from Lopes, but he grabbed her. Lopes dragged her to a field and raped her. She fought him and was able to break free, then ran away from him. Lopes chased the victim and caught her, then dragged her back to the vacant field and raped her a second time. Eventually, the victim was able to break free and run away.  She hid inside a nearby unlocked vehicle until Lopes was gone. Then she found a telephone and called for help.  
 
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Unit has been actively investigating this crime. Physical evidence was obtained during the investigation. The suspect was identified as Juan Martinez Lopes, from a photo line-up. Lopes allegedly fled the United States and went to Mexico and a $500,000 warrant was issued for Lopes’ arrest.
 
In September 2019, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office was notified by Madera County Sheriff’s Office that Lopes was in custody for a recent arrest for public intoxication. Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Detectives obtained a search warrant for Lopes’ DNA and drove to Madera County to collect a sample of Lopes’ DNA as evidence.
 
The evidence obtained from the victim’s forensic examination linked Lopes to the crime. Lopes was transported from Madera County to Sonoma County on September 13, where he was booked on two felony counts of rape and kidnapping. Lopes is currently in custody on $500,000 bail.
 
Sexual assaults are very serious and can be extremely emotionally damaging for victims. We encourage victims to report assaults to law enforcement. We appreciate this victim’s cooperation in helping us solve this violent crime.
 
Prepared by: Sergeant Juan Valencia, Public Information Officer
Case No: 020317-007
Press Inquiries: (707) 565-3941
 

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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
2796 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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