Man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault of Northeast Fresno babysitter pleads not guilty

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Joseph Ward pleaded not guilty to all charges on Friday during his arraignment at the Fresno County court.

He is scheduled back for a preliminary hearing on August 17.

Police say back in June Ward sexually assaulted and kidnapped a 24-year-old and the baby she was watching.

Investigators say Ward forced his way into the home with a butcher knife after following the woman who was caring for a one-year-old child. Once inside, police say he went on a rampage for valuables and that's when he sexually assaulted the woman.

Ward then allegedly forced the victim into her car, along with the baby, and drove them to a nearby ATM to withdraw cash before the babysitter finally convinced him to let her and the child go.

Last time Ward was in court he claims authorities have the wrong guy. He did call Action News from the Fresno County Jail to dispute the charges against him. He claims the man in the video police have is not him.
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