TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — A man accused of sexually assaulting a 91-year-old woman in Tempe last month is being held without bond, authorities said Wednesday.
Ekwunze Job Owen Jr., 24, was taken into custody early Wednesday near the Arizona State University campus, according to Tempe police. He didn't have a lawyer at his initial court appearance, and a public defender was being appointed to his case.
Owen allegedly entered a woman's home last Saturday and then fled when she began screaming for help, police said. It was after the incident that Owen was positively identified as a suspect through DNA, police said.
Tempe Police Cmdr. Kim Hale said Owen allegedly has admitted to some of the crimes, including the October sexual assault.
Owen also is accused of at least three incidents of indecent exposure in Mesa since February 2012.
Police said Owen allegedly left DNA at several crime scenes, and it was matched to the suspect in the sexual assault of the 91-year-old woman on Oct. 18.
Officers with Tempe police, Mesa police and the U.S. Marshals Service worked to track down Owen.
Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead said at a news conference that during the course of the investigation, authorities realized there was an established pattern and that the suspect was a "serialized criminal" and had been preying upon vulnerable victims.
"This guy was an opportunist," Milstead said. "He knocked doors in the area asking people to use their phone. He tried to befriend people."
The series of incidents began in Mesa in January 2012, and investigators have compiled information about trespassing and indecent exposures since then.