A suspected serial rapist arrested by the Turlock Police Department for a rape on June 14 is now in custody at the Tuolumne County Jail on an allegation he raped a Sonora woman on June 4.
Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel, 37, was arrested by the Turlock Police Department on Sept. 2. 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.
Pineda Pimentel was able to post bond after his arrest in Stanislaus County. A Tuolumne County judge set his bail at $1 million and he remains in custody at the Tuolumne County Jail.
The Turlock Police Department said he was a resident of Denair, while Sonora said he resides in Manteca.
In both cases Pineda Pimentel was linked to the rapes through DNA, and investigators believe there are more victims.
The rape on June 14 happened in Turlock and a homeless woman was the victim, according to the Turlock Police Department.
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 Pineda Pimentel. Detectives learned Pineda Pimentel’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, Pineda Pimentel's DNA was a match to DNA collected from two other unsolved sexual assaults in two other counties, one of which was Tuolumne County and was similar to the Turlock rape.
On June 4, a homeless woman reported to the Sonora Police Department that she was picked up by a Hispanic male while walking along W. Stockton Street. He was driving a dark colored SUV and pulled up next to her and offered her a ride. The victim accepted the offer and got inside of the vehicle. The man drove the victim to an undisclosed location instead of the intended destination. The man then ordered the victim out of the vehicle and raped her by force.
When Pineda Pimentel was arrested on Sept. 2, he 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.
The Union Democrat newspaper reported that the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office booking information shows that Pineda Pimentel was arrested at Adventist Health Sonora on Tuesday afternoon. The newspaper said a hospital spokesperson confirmed Pineda Pimentel was an employee there at the time of his arrest.
Detectives believe there may be additional victims in the Central Valley and Foothills areas. Detectives urge them to come forward. They ask homeless resource groups to encourage those they assist in the homeless population to report any crime that occurs to them. Those crimes should be reported to the law enforcement agency where the crimes occurred.
The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding this incident to call Detective Tim Redd at (209) 664-7325. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.