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Alleged serial rapist arrested in Prescott for crimes dating back nearly 25 years

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Posted at 11:55 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 15:43:30-04

PRESCOTT, AZ — An alleged serial rapist was arrested recently in Prescott for crimes that happened in California dating back nearly 25 years.

According to a release from the Riverside County District Attorney, 50-year-old Darin Cooke has been arrested and faces 16 felony charges including the forcible rape of five separate victims.

Eleven of the counts date back to crimes in the city of Riverside, California, in 1996 and 1998. The other five counts date back to crimes in Corona, California, in 2007.

According to the District Attorney, Cooke is accused of forcibly raping five women and assaulting another while armed with either a knife or handgun in each case.

In 2019, Corona police started looking into several sexual assault cold cases and contacted Riverside police because both cities had similar crimes and circumstances reported. DNA from crimes in both cities were apparent matches for a suspect who was not yet identified at the time.

The FBI Los Angeles Forensic Genetic Genealogy Team became involved and helped match Cooke as the alleged suspect for the “John Doe” DNA profile in the cases.

After conducting surveillance, a DNA profile was generated off of trash collected from Cooke’s home in Chino Valley, Arizona. Officials say the DNA profile from Cooke matched the DNA of the suspect in the sex assaults.

Cooke was arrested on May 26, 2020, in Prescott. He was extradited to California on June 14, 2020.

Officials say the Corona and Riverside police departments, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and the FBI Phoenix Violent Crimes Task Force assisted in taking Cooke into custody.

So far police say Cooke is not a suspect in any sexual assaults reported in Arizona.