Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz police make arrest in westside sex assault

Police believe suspect is linked to three attacks

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Santa Cruz police officers arrested an 18-year-old man suspected of sexually attacking a woman on the city's Westside Thursday night.

According to Deputy police chief Steve Clark, Jose Juan Solorzano is accused of attacking a woman on the corner of Bay Avenue and Seaside Street around  11 p.m. The woman was alone, talking on her cellphone when Solorzano allegedly approached her and attacked her. The woman was able to fight off her assailant after he forcefully grabbed and fondled her. 

The suspect fled, and the victim went home to call 911. She worked with police detectives and a sketch artist to provide a description of her attacker. A probation officer working at the Santa Cruz Police Department saw the sketch and believed they recognized the suspect.

Officers arrested Solorzano the next day and executed a search warrant at his home.

Clark said Solorzano admitted the attack to the detectives who questioned him, and admitted to two other such attacks that occurred in April.

Solorzano was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail in suspicion of multiple charges related to Thursday's attack, and police expect he will be be charged with the other two attacks as well.

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