NEWPORT BEACH — Police have arrested a man wanted for kidnapping and raping a 12-year-old girl in Fullerton while dressed as a clown.
Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, 41, was arrested Friday morning in Newport Beach, more than nine years after the crime.
Detectives say a DNA match linked Jimenez to the kidnapping and rape, which happened Jan. 19, 2002.
Jimenez grabbed the girl from behind at the corner of Lemon Street and Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton and drove her to a nearby school parking lot, where he raped her, Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said.
Fullerton police say Jimenez later took the girl to a motel off Harbor Boulevard, where he molested her again.
The girl escaped when Jimenez left the car to talk to a motel clerk. She told police her attacker was a Hispanic male, and was wearing a clown mask and clown makeup.
Investigators collected DNA evidence from the girl at the time and entered it into their system.
Jimenez was arrested in 2010, and his DNA was taken at that time.
In February 2011, police received a DNA hit from their database linking Jimenez to the 2002 crime. They then obtained a warrant for his arrest and took him into custody.
Police confirmed through interviews that Jimenez works as a professional clown, under the name "El Tin Larin."
They say it appears he's worked as a clown for the past nine years.
Authorities are concerned he may have additional victims. They're asking anyone with information to call detectives at (714) 738-5327 or (714) 738-6715.