Mesa man arrested for sexually assaulting two women in Pinal County

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FLORENCE - The following is a press release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office:

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Man accused of at least 2 sexual assaults - A man deputies say sexually assaulted at least two different people is behind bars.

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On Wednesday July 22, 2009, Elieel Obed Beltran-Rabago, 21, of Mesa was arrested by Pinal County Sheriff's Office Investigators after a three day, joint investigation between the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Pinal County Attorney's Office, Mesa, Gila River and Maricopa Police Departments.

On Monday July 20, 2009, Pinal County Sheriff 's Office Investigators were contacted by Maricopa Police Department regarding a sexual assault that had occurred in the desert area near Rio Bravo Rd and Highway 238 outside the city limits of the town of Maricopa.

During their investigation, Pinal County Sheriff's Office detectives learned that the sexual assault being investigated by Pinal County had occurred in the same area as a sexual assault that occurred on the Gila River Indian Reservation on June 25, 2009. The assaults took place only 100 feet from one another.

Through the course of the investigation it was determined that the suspect and vehicle description from the case on the 25th of June (Gila River) was identical to the suspect and vehicle description from the case on the 20th of July (Pinal County) and each of the victims were from the Mesa area.

Investigators with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and Gila River Police Department immediately contacted the Mesa Police Department and started a joint investigation as the victims reported in both cases they had been abducted in Mesa and taken into the desert and sexually assaulted.

In an attempt to locate a suspect, investigators and victims met with a sketch artist at the Chandler Police Department and a composite sketch was developed. Investigators took the sketch to the area where the assaults had occurred and met with several area residents. One of the people they spoke to recognized and identified the suspect as Elieel Obed Beltran-Rabago, 21, of Mesa. The witness was able to lead investigators to Beltran-Rabago's residence in Mesa. Beltran-Rabago was arrested by the Mesa Police Department on un-related charges. Victim's positively identified Beltran-Rabago as their assailant.

Beltran-Rabago was booked into Maricopa County 4th Avenue jail and is awaiting extradition to Pinal County on three counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping.

"This arrest is the product of a cooperative effort between four law enforcement agencies and our County Attorney's Office. The crimes Beltran-Rabago committed are heinous crimes targeted at non-citizens. I encourage anyone else who may possibly be a victim to come forward to seek support without fear. We shall help you pursue justice. Our investigators have worked around the clock and have made all of us proud of their exemplary police work over the past three days. Their hard work and dedication has made the streets of our State safer," said Sheriff Paul Babeu.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be forthcoming.