Police say rapist posed as police officer, fear there may be more victims

Authorities fear there could be more victims who may come forward if they recognize the suspect's car
October 16, 2013 3:27:24 PM PDT
Investigators in the Houston Police Department Major Offenders Division have arrested a sexual assault suspect who posed as a police officer and are urging any other victims to come forward to report similar crimes.

About 1:30am last Thursday, a 31-year-old woman discovered her vehicle had a flat tire and pulled into an Exxon station at 1200 Dairy Ashford at the Katy Freeway service road. As she examined her car, a man asked about her tire and flashed what she believed to be a law enforcement badge. He then told her she should not be driving in her condition and asked for her identification, which she gave to him.

The man then took the woman's cellphone. The victim, believing the suspect was a police officer, agreed to let the man give her a ride.

Instead of taking her to her home, he drove her to an unknown parking garage in the area.

"He drives up in the parking garage and tells her, 'You are going to do something for me, otherwise you are going to jail.' He goes on top of the parking garage, we believe it's a three- or four-story parking garage. He has her exit the vehicle and demands that she take her clothing off where he sexually assaults her," said Officer Art Mejia with the Houston Police Department.

The suspect took off and the victim walked back to the gas station and to get help.

Police say video surveillance from the Exxon helped identify the suspect as 46-year-old Francisco Jose Ugarte. He was arrested last Saturday without incident and faces with two counts of sexual assault.

When we showed up to his house, no one inside would answer the door, and several neighbors on his quiet street in Cinco Ranch denied knowing the man.

Authorities aren't releasing Ugarte's photo right now because they believe there may be more female victims and they don't want to hinder the investigation. However, they've released a photo of his vehicle, a 2008 maroon BMW, should other victims recognize it and want to report contact with the suspect.

Ugarte is described as Hispanic, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds. He has a light complexion, straight dark hair, a medium build and was not clean shaven.

Right now police are urging any woman who may have come in contact with the man driving that maroon BMW to call HPD's Major Offender's Unit at 713-308-3100.

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