A man facing rape charges in several counties will be tried in Stanislaus County because it is where the majority of the alleged crimes happened.
Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel, 37, is facing seven counts of rape by force or fear and one count each of sexual penetration by force, attempted rape by force, sexual battery of a restrained person and sexual penetration by a foreign object, along with the enhancements that there were multiple victims and that he gave methamphetamine to one of the victims.
Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel, 37, was arrested by the Turlock Police Department on Sept. 2. At that time his residence was listed as Denair. Court records show Pimentel has been a transient and occasionally resides with his mother in Manteca.
Pimentel's arrest came about after investigators were able to collect DNA evidence from a woman raped in June in Turlock.
The woman, who is homeless and lives in Turlock, was reported to the Turlock Police Department the day after the attack, which happened on June 14.
The woman told investigators she was picked up on Geer Road by a Hispanic male adult she described as 6 feet tall and about 250 pounds. He was driving a dark sports utility vehicle.
The suspect offered her a ride and told her he would “help her out.” After initially declining, the victim eventually consented to get in the vehicle because the suspect was so persistent, according to the police department.
Instead of taking her to where she was going, the suspect drove behind a closed business and raped her by force.
The woman reported the attack and a rape exam was performed, which included the collection of DNA. The DNA was then sent off for testing.
On Aug. 30, the police department was notified that the crime lab had made a match from the DNA and that it belonged to Pimentel. Detectives learned Pineda’s DNA record was from 2009 when he was in the military. He had been arrested and charged with rape, though that case was ultimately dismissed.
In addition to the Turlock rape, Pimentel's DNA was a match to DNA collected from two other unsolved sexual assaults in two other counties.
On Sept. 2, investigators tracked Pimentel to south Modesto and converged on the area for his arrest.
At the time of the traffic stop Pimentel had a female passenger in the vehicle. The woman said she was homeless and that she had met Pimentel the day prior. She said he showed up that day and offered her something to eat and to give her a ride.
Pimentel was able to post bond after his arrest in Stanislaus County. On Sept. 7, the Sonora Police Department took him into custody in Sonora and charged him with one count of rape using force or fear. A Tuolumne County judge set his bail at $1 million.
As the investigation continued, another Sonora woman came forward and said she had been raped by Pimentel in August. Additionally, more victims from Stanislaus County were identified and a case from 2017 in Fresno County was re-opened and linked to Pimentel.
Pimentel was transferred to Stanislaus County Jail on Dec. 4. He returns to Stanislaus County Superior Court on Dec. 20 for a bail review hearing.