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Valley man accused of raping woman in Yavapai County

The woman said the suspect tried to get her into his truck before raping her in a secluded area of ​​Meyer.

MESA, Ariz. — DNA evidence has led to a Mesa man being taken into custody in connection with the sexual assault of a Yavapai County woman.

The sheriff's office announced Friday that 36-year-old Brian J. Hernandez was taken into custody this month for allegedly raping a 47-year-old woman in August 2023.

The victim told investigators she was given a ride by a man dressed in construction gear and driving a large water tanker truck, who took her to a secluded area, allegedly assaulting her and then releasing her.

The woman called the sheriff's office immediately after returning home, and DNA evidence of the assault was collected.

Investigators were able to identify the suspect through a national DNA database. Investigators then searched Hernandez's Mesa residence and allegedly found evidence linking him to the assaults. Hernandez was taken into custody and is facing charges of kidnapping and sexual assault.

The sheriff's office is seeking more information about Hernandez's past. The suspect is known to be in the Scottsdale, Mesa and Northern Arizona areas. He often drives large construction trucks and his personal black 2017 Ford F-150 truck.

Hernandez is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, with brown eyes, a dark brown beard and a bald head.

Anyone with more information about Hernandez is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 928-771-3260.

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