VISALIA – Police have arrested a suspect in the brutal assault of a woman found beaten and bruised in downtown Visalia last week.
Violent crime detectives with the Visalia Police Department arrested 28-year-old Josue Hernandez-Estrada for sexually assaulting the 56-year-old woman and leaving her to die.
The woman was found in bad condition by a passerby in the early morning of Dec. 17 near Fugazzi’s Restaurant in downtown Visalia.
Detectives used surveillance footage from downtown businesses to track down the suspect. One of the videos showed a man in a white Ford Explorer slowly following the woman just before 4:45 a.m. the morning of the attack.
Police were able to later stop a car matching the description of the vehicle from the video. The car was being driven by Hernandez-Estrada, who was taken into custody. According to police, he is the father of two girls.
Detectives also detained another man in connection to the assault, but he was later released.
The rape victim, who isn’t being identified, is the key witness in the case, but she is still unconscious in the hospital and in critical condition, authorities said. A test done at the hospital confirmed the woman had been sexually assaulted.
Although police have not revealed all of the evidence linking Hernandez-Estrada to the crime, they say they are confident in the arrest. Hernandez-Estrada is being charged with attempted homicide, sexual assault and sodomy. He is being held on $500,000 bail.
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