Defendant pleads not guilty in sexual assault cases

A Merced man pleaded not guilty earlier this week in connection with multiple sexual assaults dating back to 2012 in Merced.

Yeng Kong Moua, 24, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Merced County Superior Court to charges of sexual penetration with a foreign object, criminal threats and four counts of attempted sexual assault.

According to the Merced Police Department, the suspect’s description and actions match several other incidents that had occurred on the north side of Merced.

The first reported incident happened in 2012 on Rambler and R Streets to last month. Since 2012, police received approximately seven reported sexual batteries all in the north side of Merced. The suspect’s description is very similar in each case.

Moua was arrested March 27 after an additional alleged victim saw news stories about the attacks and came forward with undisclosed new information police said led them to Moua.

Moua’s attorney, Christopher Loethen, said he has received initial police reports in the case, but was still waiting for copies of recorded interviews with police. Loethen said his client denied any involvement in the attacks.

“The issues at this point appear to be whether the victims can accurately identify a suspect given the time of day and short duration of the attacks,” Loethen said.

Moua remains in custody at the Merced County Jail on more than $1.2 million bail.