DNA Leads to an Arrest of a Suspected Rapist

January 2, 2009 5:43:59 PM PST
A local woman raped, beaten and left for dead ... will likely get justice this New Year ... thanks to some scientific evidence.Since the suspect was already going to prison, the court ordered him to provide a DNA sample. He was serving time for possession of rock cocaine when his DNA was tied to a far more brutal crime last year.

Fresno Police say it was the victim's normal routine, to rise before daybreak and walk this Central Fresno alley collecting cans to recycle.

Last May, along her route, the 62 year old woman was attacked, beaten, raped and left unrecognizable.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "In fact the suspect came up from behind her, and grabbed the victim in a headlock, severely beat her and punched her all over her body."

Investigators say just before the New Year, 30 year old Jose Malanche admitted to the crime during an interview inside the Fresno County Jail. Officers confronted him with the DNA evidence that tied him to the crime.

"As with many individuals they blame their acts on alcohol and drugs or being under the influence and that was the case here. But the simple fact is this was an individual that knew what he was doing. He targeted this individual in this alley," said Dyer.

Police say the suspect rammed the victim's face into the concrete pavement several times while assaulting her.

Margaret Paleo lives in the area and she's relieved police made an arrest. "Stuff always happens around here but this was too close for comfort right here, too close," said Paleo.

Paleo says the attack bothered her and she wondered why the suspect picked that woman as his victim. "It was sad. What were they going to take off of her, her cans, her bottles- that's what she was collecting," said Paleo.

Investigators say Jose Malanche will serve at least 28 years in prison for the felony charges related to the crime

As for the victim, police say physically she is healing. But her emotional scars may never go away. Investigators say the trauma and assault have psychologically changed her forever.

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