Sacto 9-1-1
November 9, 2012
Authorities say they've caught man dubbed Roaming Rapist, suspected in dozens of assaults

dereck Sanders.JPGA man suspected of being the Roaming Rapist, an assailant who assaulted a dozen women throughout Sacramento County from 1998 to 2003, has been arrested, law enforcement officials announced today.

Dereck Jermaine Sanders, 39, was booked into Sacramento County Jail early this morning. He is charged with 35 counts of forcible sexual assault involving 10 victims ages 14-42, in nine separate incidents.

He was implicated through a "familial DNA" match, which traces family characteristics, to a brother, who is a convicted felon, and recently had been arrested on three unrelated sexual assaults.

Sanders was connected by a direct DNA match through trash he threw out at his Isleton home on Wednesday.

Sacramento Police detective Avis Beery said: "I have told many people that before I retired I wanted this case solved...I am thrilled we finally located this individual."

His arrest was announced at a morning press conference attended by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, District Attorney Jan Scully and representatives from the Office of the California Attorney General.

"We have the right rapist," said Scully.

In a 2006 interview, a sheriff's detective said the man dubbed the Roaming Rapist was tied by DNA to cases from Foothill Farms to south Sacramento.

Detectives said previously that the Roaming Rapist was polite at times and wielded a gun at other times. He approached his victims while on foot, on bicycle and in several different vehicles.

According to the sheriff's department website, the Roaming Rapist engaged women in conversation and then attacked them.

He was described as a black man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 150-200 pounds and 20-35 years old.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dereck Sanders, 39

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