TURLOCK (CBS13) – More victims have come forward as a former military man and serial rapist was back behind bars this week.
Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel, 37, of Manteca, bailed out last week but was charged Wednesday with raping another woman—this time in Sonora.READ MORE: McClatchy Seniors Create Wide Open Walls Mural On Campus
Police say DNA evidence cracked the case wide open.
Investigators say the suspect operates the same way with each attack: His targets are homeless women walking alone on the side of the road.
Pineda Pimentel’s mugshot was circulating on social media and, police say, encouraged multiple other women—all of whom were at one point homeless—to come forward overnight.
Turlock police say in June, Pineda Pimentel picked up a homeless woman who was walking on Geer Road in Turlock, then drove behind a closed business and raped her.
That woman came forward, and the DNA evidence from that rape would lead to Pineda Pimentel’s arrest.
Police say when he was arrested last week in Modesto, he had another homeless woman in the car.
“We believe there was another victim in the car, she just hadn’t been victimized yet,” said Lieutenant Neil Cervenka with Turlock police.
Turlock police say the suspect’s original DNA record came from the military in 2009, where he’d been arrested and charged with rape overseas.READ MORE: University Of Silicon Andhra Campus Proposed In San Joaquin County
Those charges were ultimately dropped, because the victim in that case didn’t want to cooperate or pursue the charges.
“That DNA match from the military in 2009 broke this case it gave us a name and a date of birth,” said Lieutenant Cervenka.
Records show Pineda Pimentel is a Surgical Technician, and police say he has children. The suspect has no prior record and was not known to police. Police say that’s why its crucial for victims to come forward, but that’s not always easy.
“In this particular situation, I can see the power and control dynamic,” Stephanie Barazza from Haven Women’s Center in Stanislaus County said.
She is a Trauma Response Advocate with Haven Women’s Center in Stanislaus and wonders whether she’s met some of these victims at the hospital.
She says there are barriers, especially with homeless women that would prevent those who may be assaulted from coming forward, including a distrust of police.
“When there’s fear of coming forward to the police, the biggest part when working with survivors is supporting and believing them,” she said.
Pineda Pimentel will face a judge Thursday in Tuolomne County. He is in jail on $150,000 bail.MORE NEWS: What Will Sacramento's New Homeless Shelter Look Like That's Set To Open This Week?
There are resources to help those affected by sexual assault. You can contact Haven Women’s Center here.