Scottsdale rape suspect has criminal past

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Festa is the main suspect in two Scottsdale sexual assault cases from earlier in October. 

The first incident in the case took place on Oct. 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. One woman was home alone when she was reportedly confronted by a man wearing a light-colored shirt on his head. Both women told police they were sexually assaulted.

Police said Festa turned himself in Thursday evening after seeing a police sketch resembling him on TV.  However, his lawyer later said Festa is innocent and only reported to Scottsdale police in order to clear his name.

On Friday, the judge in the case released Festa from jail, saying there wasn't enough evidence to hold him.

It isn't the first time Festa has been in the news. Back in 2005, Festa was one of four victims hit by a runaway pickup truck while waiting for a bus. Festa was a 15-year-old high school student at the time and suffered severe head injuries. 

Since the accident, he has been in and out of substance and psychological treatment and evaluation at several different facilities. He's also been arrested for assault and drug charges and is currently on probation for a drug charge. Festa is due in court Thursday for a probation violation hearing.

Scottsdale police said Tuesday that they're still looking for possible suspects in addition to Festa.  His DNA evidence is being processed and is due back from the lab next week.