AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police arrested a man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl under the Loop 360 bridge near Bull Creek on Wednesday, according to official police documents.
The suspect, 21-year-old Yeison Misael Ortiz-Ortiz, was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim told police she first met Ortiz-Ortiz on Wednesday near the creek where she was swimming under the bridge at Loop 360 and Bull Creek. The victim told officers she saw Ortiz-Ortiz with a group of people as she was walking down the trail. She said as she was swimming Ortiz-Ortiz approached her and offered her a cigarette, which she accepted.
The victim stated she then walked away and repeatedly asked him to leave her alone. According to the affidavit, Ortiz-Ortiz “became more verbally aggressive, telling her he wanted to have sex with her.”
Ortiz-Ortiz then allegedly pushed her up against a rock, held her down from behind, and had sex with her, according to the affidavit. The victim told police the assault lasted about three minutes, at which point she was able to leave, return to her apartment and call the police.
Officers were able to locate Ortiz-Ortiz near the area where the alleged rape took place. Officers conducted a field identification and the victim told them she was 100% certain Ortiz-Ortiz was the man who sexually assaulted her.
Ortiz-Ortiz told officers that the victim had approached him, asked for marijuana, and told him on several occasions that she was 19 years old. Ortiz-Ortiz also told officers the sexual encounter was consensual.
Bail has been set for $100,000 and Ortiz-Ortiz is ordered to have no contact with the victim. The affidavit also shows the Honduran consulate will be notified. It is unclear at this time the citizenship status of Ortiz-Ortiz. He is facing a charge of sexual assault of a child.
A parent’s lesson
KXAN spoke to parents hanging out at Bull Creek on Friday. They say even in this location they trust, they see an opportunity for predators.
“It makes me want to go and have another sit-down conversation with my daughter to be more aware of her surroundings. It’s very scary,” said Hillary Green, who has an 11-year-old and 4-year-old.
Rob Solis, a father of a 13-year-old in Cedar Park, echoed the same sentiments. He plans to use this reported crime as a teaching moment to his teen: Spatial awareness is key, especially in an area filled with strangers.
“If you see that you are getting followed or you see someone suspicious, just be mindful of that and make sure you don’t put yourself in a compromising position,” Solis said.
The area under the Loop 360 bridge is filled with natural blind spots and hideaways. Even still, both Solis and Green say they don’t want to see the growth removed.
“Those nooks and crannies — you can go read a book or enjoy quiet time with your kids or whatever you want to do — is what makes it beautiful,” Green said.
Solis said the brush is not to blame for the crime. Instead, he’d like to see parents focus their efforts on teaching their kids how to be self-aware, whether its at the park or in conversations with friends.
“I try to explain that it always revolves around her safety and well-being, whether that’s safety from predators or safety from the idea of saying things you wish you would have taken back,” Solis said. “There are things that you can’t reverse and unfortunately that happened here in Bull Creek.”