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Suspect In String Of Lake Highlands Sexual Assaults Pleads Guilty

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Cesar Benitez (credit: Dallas County Sheriff's Department)

Cesar Benitez (credit: Dallas County Sheriff’s Department)

LP Phillips, KRLD L.P. Phillips
  L.P. Phillips is an Edward R. Murrow Award winning investigative...
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DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Just as his trial is about to begin, a man suspected in the sexual assaults of several Lake Highlands area women pleads guilty.

30-year old Cesar Benitez is accused in three sexual assaults that happened in the Lake Highlands area last year. He was arrested in April and Dallas Police say his DNA matched the attacker.

The first assault happened in February of 2013 – the other two in March 2013. Benitez was arrested in April.

He was to stand trial today but changed his mind as jury selection began.

Chuck Curtis lives in the Lake Highlands neighborhood and he says the whole area was terrorized.

“The area (neighborhood) was generally very happy – and it was like throwing a switch, all of a sudden everything clamped down.” said Curtis.

Judge Ernest White will sentence Benitez at a later date.

Before he was picked up, police say Benitez was caught peering into the stalls of women’s rest rooms several times.

Prosecutors intend to bring that up if they get a conviction.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also have their eye on the case. They claim Benitez is in the country illegally.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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