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Man in U.S. illegally is allegedly linked to two sexual assaults reported in Chandler in 1997

Posted at 1:40 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 23:36:58-04

CHANDLER, AZ — DNA evidence has linked a man in the U.S. illegally to two sexual assaults reported in Chandler in 1997, according to police.

Det. Seth Tyler said a 22-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a Hispanic man at Hoopes Park, located near Elliot and Alma School roads, in September 1997. Ten days later, an 18-year-old woman was also sexually assaulted by a Hispanic man inside her home near Knox Road and Arizona Avenue.

Five years later, police learned that DNA collected at both scenes matched the same profile, confirming investigators' initial theories in 1997 that the two attacks were committed by the same suspect.

According to Tyler, in April 2019, the DNA came up as a match to 43-year-old Adan Lopez-Perez, a Mexican national who lived in Chandler in 1997. As he was in federal custody on a charge of unlawful entry into the U.S., Lopez-Perez was required to provide a DNA sample.

On April 8, detectives arrested Lopez-Perez for his alleged involvement in the 1997 sexual assaults. He was later booked into the Maricopa County Jail on five counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual abuse, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of burglary.

Chandler police say it's possible there are other victims, and they are asking anyone with information to come forward.