Man uses social media to target women for sexual assault. Fresno Sheriff needs help finding victims

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Man uses social media to target women for sexual assault. Fresno Sheriff needs help finding victims

Cesar Eduardo Chavez is back in jail Thursday after Fresno County Sheriff's detectives connected him to the attack of another woman last month.

In the most recent case, they say the 26-year-old met a woman on social media, took her to a store and restaurant, and then drove her to a rural area east of Fresno city limits-where he sexually assaulted her.

The woman managed to break away, but Chavez chased her down in his car, nearly hitting her.

She jumped in some bushes and called 911, and thanks to her detailed account of what happened, deputies arrested Chavez at his home later that night.

"If he's done it twice in two weeks, he probably has a history of it," said Fresno County Sheriff's Spokesman Tony Botti. "He maybe uses these same locations, these same social media sites to track down and prey on other women. And if those women are out there, we'd like to hear from them."

The first case, which happened in mid-September, was very similar.

The sheriff's office says Chavez met a woman through social media, and after seeing a movie together, he drove her to the country and sexually assaulted her.

She also eventually got away and called 911 from a gas station.

It wasn't until Chavez's arrest this week that detectives realized he was also responsible for this attack.

He briefly bailed out of jail, but detectives rearrested him for the new charges.

In both cases, the sheriff's office says the women put up a strong fight.

"One-when they fell out of the car, she actually used a rock and hit him to fight him off to get him to leave, so then she could walk to the gas station," Botti said. "The other woman used a stick, threatened to hit him with that."

Authorities believe Chavez preyed upon, and perhaps assaulted other women, and they hope the ones that have already come forward empower the others to report their experiences.

The sheriff's office isn't releasing Chavez's booking photo right now because if any more victims come forward, they want to make sure they authentically identify him.

They're also not talking about which social media sites Chavez used.

The Fresno County District Attorney's Office has charged Chavez with seven felonies related to both incidents.
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