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DNA linked Clark County school bus driver to sexual assaults

Updated September 18, 2018 - 7:49 pm

Las Vegas police used DNA evidence to link a Clark County School District bus driver to two sexual assault cases, court documents show.

Cesar Rogelio Jimenez’s DNA was found on two different women after sexual assaults on May 14 and Aug. 26, according to his arrest report. A Metropolitan Police Department detective learned of the DNA match on Sept. 11, and police arrested Jimenez that day.

He was charged last week with three counts of sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of battery to commit sexual assault.

Jimenez began working as a bus driver with the school district in December 2006, district spokesman David Roddy said. He is considered “absent without leave” until his release from custody, when he will be indefinitely suspended.

Jimenez’s bus route served Durango and Palo Verde high schools, as well as Lawrence Middle School, Roddy said.

In both sexual assault cases, Jimenez’s arrest report said, he forced a woman to perform a sex act on him at gunpoint inside his car. Jimenez told officers during an interview last week that he had a woman perform the act on him “several weeks ago on the way to work” but denied pulling a gun on her.

In the Aug. 26 case, the report said, a man forced a woman walking near South Casino Center Boulevard and East Oakey Boulevard into his car at gunpoint and sexually assaulted her in his vehicle in a nearby neighborhood.

DNA evidence obtained from the woman matched that of a then-unknown man wanted from the May sexual assault case, the arrest report said.

In the May case, a woman was on the 2000 block of Las Vegas Boulevard South and had contacted a ride-hailing service before her phone died, police said. She walked across the street near a restaurant when a man asked her if she needed a ride. She got in the car, and he sexually assaulted her at gunpoint on the 1800 block of Ninth Street, police said.

One of the women noted a Starbucks cup in the car’s middle console. Detectives spotted a Starbucks cup through his car window while meeting with him at work.

On Sept. 10, police pulled over a vehicle matching the description from the reported sexual assaults. An officer asked the driver, identified as Jimenez, to step out of his black Kia sedan because he had a handgun in the passenger seat. Jimenez declined a request for a cheek swab but agreed to have his picture taken.

Police released him but served a search warrant for his DNA later that day while Jimenez was at work, the report said. The detective received word of the DNA match the next day.

A Metro officer spotted him driving southbound on Interstate 15 the morning of Sept. 11 and pulled him over about a half-mile from Primm, the arrest report said. Metro had previously confirmed with school police that Jimenez had called in sick, with Jimenez later explaining he did so because he was “shaken up” from the police visiting him at work the previous day, the report said.

Police then took him into custody.

Jimenez is being held on $100,000 bail. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled Sept. 26.

Previous arrest

Jimenez had been arrested on a charge of soliciting a prostitute last year, court records show.

Neither school police nor the district were aware of the arrest, Roddy said. Failing to self-report an arrest could lead to employee termination, Roddy said.

The school district performed the appropriate background checks on Jimenez when he was hired in 2006, Roddy said. It wasn’t clear whether the district had performed further checks since his hiring, as Roddy said such information would be confidential.

Roddy added that the school district complies with a background check law passed by the Legislature in 2017 requiring unlicensed employees to get a background check every five years.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Amelia Pak-Harvey contributed to this report.

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