A 24-year-old Santa Maria man accused of assaulting a teenage girl with the intent to rape her in Arroyo Grande last year has been linked to a 2006 rape in Los Angeles, according to local court documents.
Fernando Frias has pleaded not guilty to the alleged kidnapping and assault of a then-17-year-old girl in Arroyo Grande on May 26, 2010. He also has pleaded not guilty to the added rape charge in the Southern California case.
A DNA match linked Frias to a pending rape case investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department five years ago, according to investigative reports.
That incident reportedly took place June 4, 2006. The purported victim told investigators that two men raped her while she was walking along Broadway Avenue in Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department report, the men confronted her, threatening to kill her. Before she could use her cellphone to call for help, they allegedly beat her and took turns raping her in an alley.
Law enforcement officials say they matched DNA taken from Frias after his local arrest to a sample kept from the investigation of the Los Angeles case, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department report.
The purported victim in that case said, “That looks like him,” and, “That looks a lot like him” — identifying Frias — when shown photos of six possible suspects, according to authorities there.
Locally, a 17-year-old girl testified in August she feared Frias was planning to rape her as he hit her at least three times with a rock after throwing her to the bed of Arroyo Grande Creek near the Fair Oaks Avenue bridge. A bystander intervened, saying he scared Frias away.
Earlier in the day, Frias allegedly grabbed a bicycle that a 12-year-old girl was riding before a neighbor appeared and scared him off.
Frias asked the girl for help in looking for his dog and then tried to keep the girl from riding away after she’d stopped, restricting her movement on the bike, according to investigators.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has filed a motion to consolidate the Los Angeles and local allegations in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Frias’ next scheduled appearance is before Judge Barry LaBarbera on Nov. 28.