Sexual assault suspect arrested in Tempe

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz.-- Tempe Police have arrested a man wanted for an alleged sex abuse crime in March of this year.

Nathan Daniel Whipple, 22, was taken into custody Sept. 19 in Tempe. He is facing charges of sexual abuse and 2nd degree burglary.

"This is kind of person he was-- looking for his opportunities to look at these young ladies, especially when he had the opportunities when he felt wouldn't get caught," said Lt. Mike Pooley of the Tempe Police Department.

Police say Whipple was able to elude officers for a while. His first offense came last year when Gilbert Police arrested him for impersonating an officer to get a master key at a hotel.

Police say he entered the room of a female hotel guest then walked out.

In March of this year, Tempe Police say Whipple approached another woman in Tempe. "Went into her room while she was sleeping. She was naked from the waist down and he began to fondle her," said Lt. Pooley.

The woman confronted the man and chased him out of the complex. Police released a composite sketch of Whipple, and when a woman called at 1:30 a.m. Friday to report a man in her backyard, officers contacted Whipple and recognized him right away.

"At that point he relayed to our officers specific information that only he would know from the crime that happened on March 27th," said Lt. Pooley.

Tempe Police took Whipple into custody in the 1200 block of South Farmer. Officers say Whipple would case the downtown Tempe area, following women in their early twenties.

"He found a residence where a young lady was sleeping naked in her bedroom with her windows, the curtains, open. He immediately began shining his flashlight in there to look at her. She woke up; she immediately jumped out of bed, went out and confronted him," said Lt. Pooley.

According to the police report, Whipple said he was "playing out a sexual fantasy he had in his head.

Police describe a total of four incidents, three of them just this month. Tempe Police believe there may be more victims out there.

Police say a search of Whipple's home turned up multiple cell phones and women's underwear.

Tempe police are asking anyone with information about Whipple to ccall them at 480-350-8311.