Merced police seek suspect in string of sexual battery cases

Merced police are looking for a sexual battery suspect who may have been involved in as many as seven unsolved cases dating to 2012.

The most recent incident was reported Thursday in the area of Loughborough Drive and R Street when a woman was reportedly groped by an unidentified man, Capt. Tom Trindad told the Sun-Star on Monday.

“The actions of the suspect and the description in this incident match several other incidents that have occurred on the north side of Merced,” police said in a news release.

Since 2012, police have received “approximately seven reported sexual batteries” all on the north side of Merced. The description of the assailant in each incident was similar, leading police to believe it may be the same man, investigators said.

Police described the attacker as an Asian man, about 20 to 21 years old, with a “very small build,” possibly 5-feet-2-inches to 5-feet-3-inches tall, weighing between 120 and 125 pounds. The man’s vehicle is described as a silver car, possibly a Honda.

Police officers are asking anyone with any information regarding these incidents to contact Detective Raquel Rios at (209) 388-7766 or the Merced Police Department tipster line at (209) 385-4725. Information can also be sent via anonymous text message to the department by dialing TIP411 (847411) and including “ComVIP” as the keyword.