Suspect wanted for sexual assault in Tuscaloosa captured after 13 years

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – The Tuscaloosa Police Department confirmed Tuesday that a man wanted for multiple sexual assaults near the University of Alabama campus was arrested after 13 years.

TPD sent out a press release detailing the arrest of Alexander Velazquez Hernandez, 37, who faces charges of first degree rape, first degree sodomy, first degree sexual abuse, burglary first degree and attempted burglary.

Between July 2008 and March 2009, an unknown individual committed a series of sexual assaults
against University of Alabama students living in an apartment complex on Reed Street, located near
University Blvd.

The first incident was reported in July 2008. The suspect, posing as the apartment maintenance worker, was able to enter the victim’s unit. After the suspect confirmed that the victim was alone in the apartment, he sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to describe her attacker as a Hispanic male, but the TPD was unable to identify the suspect despite a thorough investigation.

On February 24, 2009, the suspect again impersonated a maintenance worker to commit his crimes. The first resident he contacted refused entry to his apartment. He returned to the compound later the same day and sexually assaulted the sole occupant of another unit after being introduced there under his false identity.

All three victims gave similar descriptions of the suspect. A DNA sample from an interviewed individual was found to match DNA recovered from the crime scenes. The suspect has been identified as Velazquez-Hernandez. However, efforts to locate Velazquez-Hernandez failed and it is believed he may have fled the United States and returned to Mexico.

TPD forwarded information from the case to members of the United States Attorney’s Office, the United States Marshal Service, and Mexican law enforcement to locate and arrest Velazquez-Hernandez. New information was received earlier this year about his whereabouts. Thanks to the cooperation and efforts of the Mexican Federal Police, Alexander Velazquez-Hernandez was located and detained in Mexico.

Velazquez-Hernandez was released into the custody of US Marshals on Tuesday morning. He is currently being transported to Tuscaloosa County to be incarcerated and tried for his crimes. Due to his flight risk, he is being held without bail.


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