AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police say they are investigating at least 10 cases involving a man allegedly assaulting and sexually assaulting women in an empty field in northeast Austin.
Additional charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault were brought against Nicodemo Coria-Gonzalez, 26, last week. Police say the string of incidents may date as far back as December 2015. Police referred to Coria-Gonzalez Tuesday as a “potential serial sexual assault predator.”
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Coria-Gonzalez, of Mexico, is also being held on an ICE detainer. ICE records show he has been deported to Mexico five times between September 2012 and July 2015 based on his criminal convictions, which include three DWIs.
A statement from ICE says, “As a convicted criminal, Mr. Coria-Gonzalez is an ICE enforcement priority.”
Robert Thompson, a detective with the Austin Police Sex Crimes Unit, said the suspect has picked up women through the ruse of giving them a ride or through prostitution. “We do know there are additional victims out there who have not come forward… We’re not sure of how many.” Thompson said they know of at least one other victim who has not come forward.
“Come forward to police so we can investigate that to see if it is in relation to Nicodemo Coria-Gonzalez,” Detective Thompson said. He added APD does not believe the suspect was indiscriminate in who he would target. “There’s no really huge correlation in age. [The alleged victims] range in age from early 30s to late 60s.”
Det. Thompson said there has been a clear escalation in the nature of Coria-Gonzalez’s alleged crimes.
“We believe probably about half are prostitutes,” Thompson said. On or around July 22, 2016, a woman who told police she was working as a prostitute said Coria-Gonzalez tried to light her on fire with gasoline in the empty field at Ferguson Lane and Cameron Road. The woman was able to escape.
“She did not believe sex was part of his intent at all. It strictly was to take her out there and potentially light her on fire,” Det. Thompson said.
On July 23, Coria-Gonzalez is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 68-year-old woman after picking her up from a bus stop and taking her to his “garden.”