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Deciding Not To Prosecute Serial Rapist Pimentel In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA – Charged with seven rapes in all, including two in Tuolumne County, suspect 37-year-old Joseph Frank Pineda Pimentel, will not be prosecuted in Sonora where he was arrested.

Tuolumne County Prosecutor Eric Hovatter detailed to Clarke Broadcasting why Pineda Pimentel, a former Surgical Technician at Adventist Health Sonora, will not be tried here and new details on the case against the man charged with seven rapes. Pineda Pimentel was linked to the sexual assaults by DNA taken when he was arrested in 2009 for rape, but the case was dismissed.

His arrest in Sonora occurred in September, but the two rapes date back to June of last year. One female victim reported being forcibly raped by Pineda Pimentel after he offered her a ride while walking along Stockton Street in Sonora. The other was an acquaintance of Pimentel, who says she went for a ride with him, and then, similar to the other victim’s account, he allegedly took her to a dead-end road and raped her, as both were reported here.

Hovatter revealed one detail that had not previously been disclosed, “There is evidence in one of the cases that he may have injected something into one of the victims.” Hovatter would not specify which case.

Pineda Pimentel’s also faced a rape charge in Fresno and three in Stanislaus County with his spree running from February 2017 to August of this year. Last month, the Tuolumne County D.A. decided not to prosecute the case here and instead turn it over to Stanislaus prosecutors. Hovatter explained that decision, “We came to the conclusion that Stanislaus County had more resources with which to do an investigation and transport victims to testify and was the geographical hub.”

Additionally, he noted that they had to look at how it would be most effectively prosecuted and what would result in the lengthiest sentence. Hovatter detailed, “When you’re talking about multiple victims, which brings into call life terms then you want to put the victims together into one case because that does increase his exposure.”

Ultimately the main objective in relocating the case and pooling resources says Hovatter, “We want justice for the victims and to keep this man off the street for as much time as we can.”

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