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Santa Monica Police Arrest Suspected Serial Rapist

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

July 25, 2019 -- A suspected serial rapist who attacked three women on Santa Monica's north side over the past five weeks was arrested by police on Monday.

Fernando Venancio Jr., a 43-year-old male from Lynwood, was arrested after attempting to rape his third victim on the 800 block of 18th Street Monday afternoon, police said.

Fernando Venancio Jr.Fernando Venancio Jr. (SMPD)
Police responded after receiving a call for service "regarding an unknown trouble in which a struggle could be heard over an open 9-1-1 call," said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, a Police Department spokesman.

"When officers arrived, they spoke with the victim of a robbery and an attempt sexual assault," Rodriguez said.

Police searched for the suspect and located him on the 900 block of 19th Street, he said.

The suspect was taken into police custody and booked at SMPD Jail.

Venancio is also suspected of raping a woman on the same block on June 19 and a second victim in the area of 17th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard on July 12.

As in Monday's incident, Vanancio is suspected of robbing his victim on July 12.

Rodriguez said police did not link the incidents until they arrested Venancio on Monday.

"At that point we didn't know there was a connection in the incidents," Rodriguez said.

He said police "started to realize there was a connection after the third incident happened."

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against Venancio in connection with the three incidents.

He has been charged with two counts of Forcible Rape; Digital Penetration with Force; two counts of Robbery and an Assault with intent to Commit Rape.

Venancio remains in custody pending future court proceedings with no bail options, Rodriguez said.

Anyone with any information related to these incidents or any other similar incident should call Detective Murphy at 310-458-8941, Detective Carrillo 310-458-8983 or Sergeant Art Williams at 310-458-8475.

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