Suspect in Cypress home invasions, sex assaults held without bond

Rickey Lee Zepeda is charged with crimes, but his girlfriend says they've got the wrong guy
January 27, 2014 5:00:17 PM PST
A man believed to be responsible for violent attacks on women in the Cypress area is under arrest, thanks in part to social media. Rickey Zepeda appeared in court Monday morning. He was arrested after a sketch circulated on Facebook and on television.

One of the victims told investigators that Zepeda held a razor blade up to her and threatened to kill her. Rickey Lee Zepeda has now made an appearance before a judge, where a lawyer was appointed to represent him.

Zepeda is facing multiple charges related to two different home invasions and sexual assaults. In both cases the female victims, ages 23 and 34, had their doors broken down, they were tied up, then sexually assaulted. In one case, the victim's children were present.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said, "Both complainants were able to positively identify Rickey Lee Zepeda from photo lineups as the same suspect who made forced entry into their homes."

But a woman spotted rushing out of court and hiding her face says she's standing by her man. She says Zepeda is her boyfriend, and that he's not guilty of these crimes.

"They need to keep looking, because the person who's out there is going to keep doing it again," she said.

Zepeda's emotional girlfriend claims he was at work when the violent attacks happened on January 4 and 23. Investigators claim victims identified Zepeda as the crook who broke down their doors, tied them up and raped them before robbing their homes of money, jewelry and electronics.

Zepeda's girlfriend said, "The time that I've been with him, the time that I've known him, he never put a hand on me. I have two girls, a son -- he never even tried anything. I trust him completely to be alone with my girls, and I know he wouldn't do anything to hurt them."

During a news conference Monday morning, Harris County investigators revealed they tracked down and arrested Zepeda after receiving several tips on a composite sketch they released and a car used in one of the robberies. Investigators say Zepeda's story about his alleged involvement in the crimes has changed several times.

"Ricky Lee Zepeda, go figure, has denied committing the home invasion sexual assaults, but does admit to being in possession of the stolen items," Sheriff Garcia said.

A task force of Harris County detectives and the Texas Rangers worked on the case. They are now asking for other possible victims to come forward.

"We want to make sure we have all the victims," Sheriff Garcia said.

While many neighbors in Cypress are relieved Zepeda is now in jail, charged with aggravated robbery, burglary and two sexual assaults, his girlfriend says she'll continue supporting him as they fight these criminal charges.

"I'm with him 100 percent. No matter what," she said. "Whether guilty or not guilty, I'm going to be there."

Zepeda is being held in the Harris County Jail without bond.

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