Reporting Steve Pickett
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Lake Highlands residents are breathing a sigh of relief, a day after Dallas police arrested the man they say is responsible for a string of sexual assaults in the area.
“I just feel a sense of relief. I saw it on the internet, and I can definitely tell you I can sleep easier last night, just knowing he’s been caught,” says Lake Highlands resident Bao Squire.
Longtime Lake Highlands resident Anita Siegers said, “nothing like this goes on in Lake Highlands in the years, I’ve lived here. It’s the most egregious crime and a serial crime.”
Once in custody, police say 30-year-old Cesar Benitez confessed to the three rapes committed in the same community between late-February and mid-March. (Note: Police initially reported that Benitez was born in September 1982. It was later determined that he was born in January 1980). Benitez, who is also known as Pino Porcayo according to Dallas County Sheriff’s Office records, is being held on a $4.5 million dollar bond. He is also currently on an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hold.
Police say an anonymous tip about Benitez came in on March 25, three days after DPD released two different sketches of the suspect provided by descriptions from his first two victims. Using the information from that tip, a special task force tracked and watched Benitez’s every move for a week, until they attempted to pull him over on Tuesday afternoon. Benitez tried to run from his car, but police were able to catch and arrest him.
Benitez has been charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault for the first two rapes. He will be charged with Burglary with Intent To Commit Sexual Assault for the third incident. Police say Benitez confessed involvement in all three crimes and voluntarily submitted a DNA sample. Also, a palm print taken from one victim’s home matched Benitez, according to police.
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