Cathedral City man charged with sex crimes through SoCal, prosecutors seek additional victims
Coachella Valley man is accused of catching women at Orange County race tracks in order to sexually assault them. Law enforcement officers believe there may be other victims and set up a hotline to gather more information.
The Orange County Prosecutor’s Office reports that “since January 2020, at least three women have been torn from race tracks in a park in Aliso Viejo and choked unconscious in an attempt to sexually assault the women. of women has been raped “.
The cases date back to January 2020. A task force worked to locate the suspect and on Monday the district attorney’s office announced an arrest.
Prosecutors now say Robert Daniel Yucas, 51, of Cathedral City, is the man they were looking for. Yucas is now in custody in Anchorage, Alaska. Prosecutors have also linked Yucas to an alleged crime in San Diego County. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said DNA evidence links several cases.
Investigators say Yucas is traveling to work as a commercial cargo pilot. Because of its ability to travel, they fear there will be “many more victims”.
A tip line has been established: 714-647-7419
âHe moved from Aliso Viejo to Cathedral City,â DA Spitzer said. News Channel 3 checked with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. A spokesperson confirmed, “I can tell you that there is no active criminal case in Riverside County against anyone with that name.”
News Channel 3 interviewed Yucas before September 11. An image from this interview was used during the press conference. “It is the best image that we have of him”, of what he looks like now, declared the public prosecutor.
âHe did this interview on purpose and while people were looking for him,â DA Spitzer said.
“Thanks to the Orange County Crime Lab, Orange County Crime Stoppers, San Diego Police Department, and Anchorage International Airport Police and Fire Department for their assistance in identifying and making this arrest. We all want to live in a neighborhood where we feel safe to do something as simple as taking a walk. With this arrest, we have regained a little piece of that sense of safety, “said the County Sheriff. ‘Orange Don Barnes in a press release.
âSexual predators don’t stop until we stop them,â Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. âAn entire community lived in fear of being the next victims to be taken off a trail, suffocated, unconscious and raped. The bravery of an anonymous informant in providing information about this predator led to his capture and likely prevented other women from being sexually assaulted. These women endured unimaginable horror at the hands of a stranger who hunted them like prey. Now that this sexual predator is behind bars, my job is to make sure he is held accountable for these heinous crimes to the fullest extent of the law. The way we keep him from hurting other women is by keeping him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Watch the Orange County District Attorney explain the new developments below.
Chronology of reported assaults
Authorities have said Robert Daniel Yucas, an army veteran and cargo pilot, is suspected of sexually assaulting a woman last month near Pacific Park Drive and Alicia Parkway, and two other women in January and April of last year in roughly the same area. Here’s a schedule, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
- On January 20, 2020, a 24-year-old woman was in Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo skateboarding when a man later identified as Yucas asked her for directions. As the woman pulled out her phone, Yucas is accused of grabbing the woman in a choke and dragging her through the bushes next to the walking path. The woman passed out and woke up to find that she had been raped.
- On April 2, 2020, a 32-year-old woman was running in Woodfield Park when a man later identified as Yucas grabbed her from behind and put her in a choke. Yucas is accused of dragging the woman into the bushes in an attempt to rape her, but the woman managed to push him away.
- On August 28, 2021, a 41-year-old woman was in Woodfield Park when a man grabbed her and put her in a choke. The woman passed out and woke up in the bushes next to a walking path with her pants down.
- Anonymous advice to OC Crime Stoppers led investigators to the September 4, 2021 incident in San Diego that ultimately led to the detection of DNA that matched the suspect of that attack with the suspect of the Orange County attacks. Collaboration between law enforcement, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the San Diego, Anchorage and Cathedral City Police Departments, made the arrest possible.
- On September 20, prosecutors name Yucas as the responsible man. Authorities are asking anyone with additional information regarding Yucas or any other victim to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sexual Assault Unit at 714-647-7419. Yucas lived in Aliso Viejo before moving to Cathedral City in Riverside County and he is known to spend time in San Diego County.
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