Sexual assault suspect released from jail

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The man who was thought to be behind two sexual assaults in Scottsdale is no longer behind bars.

Ryan Joseph Festa, 22, was released from jail on Saturday.

Festa was originally arrested for allegedly committing two sexual assaults earlier this month. On Friday, the judge decided to drop the charges because the lab evidence hadn't been processed.

Festa, however, was re-arrested on a marijuana related charge that stems from a search police did on his residence.

Police have said that it is possible that Festa could be charged again with sexual assault once the lab results come in.

Festa turned himself in to police on Thursday after seeing the news coverage that included a composite sketch of the suspect.

“Mr. Festa simply wanted to go to the Scottsdale Police Department to assist them in any way they thought was possible,” said Festa’s attorney, Bernardo Garcia. “He has always maintained his innocence, denying any involvement with these crimes.”

The first incident in the case took place on October 18 when a woman who lives at the Camden San Paloma Apartments near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard had a naked man enter her apartment.

The second incident took place on Wednesday at the nearby Saddletree Apartments. A woman was home alone when she was reportedly confronted by a man wearing a light-colored shirt on his head.

Festa has a criminal history, but Garcia said there’s no evidence that his client would commit these alleged acts.

“Mr. Festa has never been violent in the past,” said Garcia. “There's been no indication that he would be violent in this type of nature.”