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OC Sheriff’s detectives searching for suspect in 3 Aliso Viejo sexual assaults

A woman walking in Aliso Viejo late Saturday night lost consciousness after a man grabbed her and dragged her into nearby bushes, authorities said Sunday.

The woman woke up to find the man gone, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

The attack, which occurred near Pacific Park Drive and Alicia Parkway at around 11 p.m., was the third time a woman had been grabbed in the area since 2020 in what Sheriff’s officials said were sexual assaults.

The first two attacks were reported near Woodfield Park, and resulted in Sheriff’s investigators obtaining DNA evidence from the clothing of both victims. Testing at the Orange County Crime Lab found the DNA profiles of both samples matched.

Sheriff’s officials haven’t obtained DNA evidence from the third attack yet. But they were certain that they were looking for the same person responsible for all three.

“It is vital that this individual is identified and doesn’t have the opportunity to attack again,” said Sheriff Don Barnes in a statement.

In Saturday’s incident, the victim, a woman in her 40s, was grabbed from behind as she walked alone.

The Aliso Creek Trail runs just behind Woodfield Park, north of Pacific Park Drive. The suspect attempted to drag the woman into bushes to the east of a series of baseball fields.

“The woman lost consciousness and when she awoke, the suspect was no longer there,” officials said in a statement. “Due to the circumstances, the victim was unable to provide a description of the suspect or what occurred after she was kidnapped and dragged into the bushes.”

The first attack occurred Jan. 20, 2020: A 22-year-old woman was skateboarding near Woodfield Park when a man came up to her and tried to talk to her. He then grabbed at her, but the woman fought back and screamed until he ran away.

The second attack occurred on April 2, 2020. In that attack, a man grabbed a woman in her 30s from behind and forced her into the bushes near the creek. That woman also fought off her attacker.

Sheriff’s officials described the man as being “in his mid-30s, with dark eyes, little-to-no hair, a muscular build, wearing a black shirt, black shorts and tennis shoes.” They said the Sheriff’s Department has run “multiple operations” in the area since the first attack, but hasn’t identified a suspect.

Anyone with information about a suspect was asked to call Sheriff’s special victims detectives at 714-647-7419.

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