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Suspected Santa Ana sex predator arrested

May 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A suspected predator has been arrested, accused of breaking into Orange County homes and assaulting young woman and girls as young as 11.The suspect is behind bars in Santa Ana, facing charges he broke into at least five Orange County homes and assaulted women and girls ranging in age from 11 to 22.

Police say the suspect is a husband and father who was in the country illegally. He worked as a landscaper and police say they believe that may have been how he found his alleged victims.

Police arrested Roberto Reyes after DNA left behind in the bedroom of an 11-year-old girl in Santa Ana last February allegedly pointed to him.

"He started to sexually assault her. She woke up," said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "He's scared, he ran off."

Detectives questioned the 47-year-old Reyes about four other unsolved Santa Ana cases. Police allege he confessed.

"He just that, 'yeah, those in fact were me,'" said Bertagna.

Police say the Orange County landscaper entered homes through unlocked windows and doors. His alleged victims are between 11 and 22 years old.

The suspect is now in custody for assault to commit rape and burglary.

Authorities say Reyes has a long criminal history, going back to the mid-1990s. The charges include peeping, possession of stolen property and DUI.

"He's been here a long time and he's repeated over and over what he's done," said Bertagna. "He was convicted for the burglary in 2002. He was deported to Mexico, then apparently returned and so who knows how long this has been going on?"

Police are concerned there may be other potential victims. If you have information related to this case, you're asked to call Santa Ana Police at (714) 245-8400.


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