Series of San Jacinto sexual assaults leads to Hemet man’s arrest
SAN JACINTO, Calif., — Residents of the San Jacinto valley are breathing a sigh of relief today after a sexual predator, who officials allege sexually assaulted multiple women over the last five months, was identified and apprehended yesterday afternoon, according to an updated sheriff’s release that was issued today.
The series of sexual assaults, each of which happened in the morning hours along a winding path and greenbelt area that follows E. Esplanade Avenue, adjacent and between Rancho Park and Park Hill Elementary School, had left area residents wary of using the popular trail and fearful of when the next attack may occur.
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The now-arrested suspect, Luis Perales Jr. 28, of Hemet, remains in custody, where he is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail or bond and is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court on Sept. 13.
As previously covered by RCNS, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Heath explained last week that each of the incidents happened while the victims were walking on the same popular San Jacinto walking path during the morning hours while the victims were taking solo-walks.
Although officials have not released Perales’ booking photo, they previously released this composite sketch (L), along with descriptions of where the multiple assaults occurred. They later released surveillance camera footage that showed Perales walking in the area where the assaults occurred, (which can be seen below). RSO image (L), Google Earth image (R).
He also explained at the time that after each of the alleged assaults the suspect was seen running into the neighborhood south of E. Esplanade Avenue.
“During the course of this investigation, personnel from the Hemet Station Investigations Bureau conducted surveillance and follow-up regarding the identity of the suspect,” Heath said in today’s update.
“They received information the suspect involved in the assaults was (Perales) and after further investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for (him),” the Sergeant explained.
Online jail records indicate he was ultimately arrested at his place of employment on W. Ramona Expressway, in San Jacinto.
After his arrest, Perales was booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of three counts of sexual assault, according to the Sergeant and booking records.
If you suspect you or someone you know may have been victimized by Perales, please contact the Hemet Sheriff’s Station at (951) 791-3400 or the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at (951) 766-2400. Callers can remain anonymous. Criminal activity can also be reported through the We-Tip Crime Reporting Hotline, (909) 987-5005.
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.