Buckeye police arrest 2 suspects in kidnapping, sexual assault

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Esai Leon (left) and Damian Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas Esai Leon (left) and Damian Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

BUCKEYE, Ariz. – Two Buckeye men have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman last month.

Esai Leon, 24, and Damian Hernandez, 22, face charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence.

The victim's concerned friends reported the sexual assault on Nov. 14.

Investigators learned the victim had been consuming alcohol at a bar in Tempe and was seen leaving in a white sedan with a Hispanic male. She awoke in the desert area north of Interstate 10 and Watson Road in Buckeye with no memory of the events that occurred after leaving Tempe.

Buckeye police said the woman was brutally attacked, both physically and sexually.

During the investigation, detectives identified Leon and Hernandez as persons of interest and located the suspect vehicle.

Leon and Hernandez were interviewed by investigators and reportedly admitted involvement in the crime.

They were booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Fourth Avenue Jail on Nov. 26.

Anyone with additional information about this crime is asked to contact the Buckeye Police Department at 623-349-6400.