Police: DNA links suspect to 2 rapes

Nov. 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A man who admitted an attempted rape in the San Francisco area now faces two rape charges and a possible life sentence because of DNA testing.

Luis Lopez, 32, of Sunnyvale agreed to a plea bargain to the attempted rape that would have brought him a two-year prison term. Prosecutors made the deal before testing showed Lopez's DNA matched evidence from two other rapes in Sunnyvale and San Jose, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Lopez was arrested in August at a Denny's in Sunnyvale, hours after police responded to reports of a woman screaming near a Motel 6 in the neighborhood. She told police a man had sexually assaulted and tried to rape her.

Employees at Denny's became suspicious of Lopez because he sat for hours, drinking coffee and keeping his head lowered.

Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Ray Mendoza said Lopez could face a 25-year-to-life sentence if he is convicted of two rapes. Prosecutors may file a motion to cancel the guilty plea when Lopez is arraigned on the new charges Wednesday.

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