D.A. charges clown with lewd acts

Orange County prosecutors Monday filed additional charges against a professional clown arrested Friday in Newport Beach on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a girl nine years ago.

Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, 41, of Anaheim was charged with two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, one felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of committing a forcible lewd act on a child under 14, according to the district attorney's office.

The suspect ran a successful clown business and police said they found numerous costumes and masks at his home. He has been working as a clown for nine years, using the name El Tin Larin.

"We're hoping that any past victims might recognize him, both with or without his clown makeup, and come forward," said Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton Police Department.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Det. Kathryn Hamel at (714) 738-5327 or the front desk at (714) 738-6715.

Jimenez was arrested in connection with alleged crimes that police said occurred just before midnight on Jan. 19, 2002, when a man dressed as a clown kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl in Fullerton.

The suspect grabbed the girl from the corner of Lemon and Commonwealth, drove her to a nearby school parking lot and raped her, police said.

The man then took her to a motel off Harbor Boulevard and molested her again, police said. The girl escaped when he left the car to speak with the motel clerk.

When the police conducted their investigation in 2002, the only physical description was a male Latino in a clown mask and wearing clown makeup.

But forensic experts also collected DNA evidence from the girl, and it was eventually placed in the state database system, awaiting a possible match.

Goodrich said Jimenez was arrested in 2010 on other charges, and his DNA was submitted to the database.

Detectives learned last month they had a match, Goodrich said, making Jimenez a suspect in the kidnapping case. He was arrested in Newport Beach.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

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