This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Police Searching For Suspect In College Student Rape At Convenience Store
The 18-year-old suspect in a rape case is on the run, and police are asking the public for help in finding him. The victim is a college student who was closing up shop at the convenience store she worked at in El Monte on Oct. 19 when she was reportedly blocked by the assailant and dragged to the back of the store where she was raped.“She was working at the convenience store as a way to put herself through college, and this person, albeit we assume, had already staked out the location based on the timing of when it happened," said Sgt. Roger Cobain, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The El Monte police were able to identify their suspect through the store's surveillance camera footage, and are looking for Joseph Leo Amaya. Officials said Amaya has a checkered history as a gang member, and can be identified by a tattoo on his right forearm that reads, "EMF." They described him as a 5-feet-5-inches tall Hispanic man weighing 160 pounds, with dark hair and brown eyes.
"I had to watch the incident over and over again," store owner Jay Holman told the police, NBC Los Angeles reported. "The images are graphic. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."
Cobain added that the victim had never met this man before, and have asked anyone who has seen him to contact the El Monte police Det. David Avalos at (626) 258-8842.