A Tucson man arrested Thursday in connection with the sexual assaults of three women is also a suspect in the attacks of two other women, Sheriff Chris Nanos and a police spokesman said.
Christopher Garcia, 43, was booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of sexual abuse, armed robbery and aggravated assault in connection with two cases under the sheriff’s jurisdiction, said Nanos.
Garcia also was booked in connection with a Sept. 20 sexual assault that Tucson police are investigating, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a police spokesman. In that case, Garcia faces charges of sexual assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping and armed robbery, Dugan said.
Additional charges are possible as the investigation continues, said Nanos.
Garcia was questioned at Pima County Sheriff’s Department headquarters about five sexual assault cases, including the three Tucson Police Department cases, Nanos said.
The assaults being investigated began Aug. 26 and the last case believed to be tied to the suspect was Sept. 20, said Nanos. He described the attacks as “brutal,” and said the man became more violent with each occurrence.
In the Aug. 26 assault, the woman was beaten and left naked on Mount Lemmon, said Nanos. She was found by a motorist who called authorities, he said.
A week later, a woman was sexually assaulted, beaten and left partially clothed on Old Spanish Trail, Nanos said. The women were found in the pre-dawn hours by motorists.
In both cases, the attacks were similar and detectives believe they were done by the same assailant. Nanos said the car and suspect descriptions were also similar.
Both women “willingly got into the vehicle” when the assailant pulled up to them in his car late at night, said Nanos. Nanos said he had a “couple of weapons”, but he declined to identify the weapons.
One woman was picked up in midtown and the other was picked up on the city’s southwest side, Nanos said.
He said the women were “brutally assaulted with a weapon and with the use of hands.” After the assaults, they were “kicked out of the car”, said Nanos.
Details on the Sept. 20 attack weren't immediately released by police.
Garcia, a laborer who works in the Sabino Canyon area, was taken into custody at his workplace, Nanos said. He said investigators found him after one of the victims said he went to a Wells Fargo branch ATM before she was assaulted. The bank’s security team worked with investigators to retrieve a security photo.