Suspect accused of sexually assaulting woman at gunpoint, threatening to kill her child

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have identified a suspect accused of robbing a woman at gunpoint and sexually assaulting her at her north Austin apartment. 

Jacob Rodriguez, 36, is currently in custody in Caldwell County on unrelated charges, police say. They are working to file warrants in this case Monday afternoon.

According to police, on April 15, the victim talked to two people — a man and a woman — in her apartment complex at the 8800 block of north Interstate 35, which is south of East Rundberg Lane. The couple asked for directions to a nearby store. Some time later, the man returned to the victim’s door, where he asked for a ride to the gas station. The victim obliged.

About 20 minutes later, the suspect returned to the victim’s door and asked to use her cell phone. When the woman went to retrieve her phone, the suspect walked into her apartment, pointed a gun at her and forced his way into her bedroom. He told her if she didn’t cooperate, he would kill her child — who was in the apartment at the time.

After this, police say the suspect dragged the victim by her hair into the bathroom, where she was raped. 

During the time, an employee of the apartment complex knocked on the door in reference to a maintenance request. The suspect answered the door and allowed the man to enter the apartment, where he began working. Once the maintenance was done, the employee left and the woman and her child left, too. 

The suspect, police say, stayed behind and stole the woman’s purse before running away. 

APD was able to identify and locate Rodriguez because he had programmed a phone number into the victim’s phone earlier that day, when the two were discussing potential employment. APD traced this number to Rodriguez’s sister, which led to Rodriguez. The victim later positively identified Rodriguez in a photo lineup.

In a press conference Monday, APD confirmed the child was not harmed. According to police, the woman did not know Rodriguez before this incident, but had trusted him at the time. 

The woman who had been with Rodriguez when they’d asked the victim for directions has also been questioned and is being cooperative with the investigation. There are no charges against her at this time.

Rodriguez is facing aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual assault charges.

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