Man arrested, accused of sexually assaulting minors in Maricopa County

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also received multiple tips about potential predatory behavior by the suspect.

Jose R. Gonzalez
Arizona Republic
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Maricopa County Sheriff's Office marked vehicle.

A man is facing multiple felony sexual assault charges after the sheriff's office said he sexually assaulted and molested minors in Maricopa County.

Jess Rodriguez, 30, was arrested Saturday, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

In July 2022, detectives learned from someone reporting an unrelated crime that she was sexually assaulted in 2020 by "Jessie Rodriguez," the sheriff's office said. In late December, the same person provided additional details about the suspect, helping investigators search databases on public records and identify Rodriguez.

This led investigators to connect Rodriguez with other sexual assault incidents or sex crimes, according to the sheriff's office, including repeatedly abusing a child between the ages of 9 and 11, and using social media to prey on a 15-year-old girl and potentially others before sexually assaulting them.

Multiple "cybertips" — tips about suspected predatory behavior online — were reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in relation to Rodriguez's emails, social media accounts and usernames, MCSO said. Those tips are still being investigated.

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Investigators served multiple search warrants on Rodriguez's electronic and vehicle data, police said.

"SVU Investigators will continue to analyze data collected through the numerous search warrants to identify any unknown victims of this serial offender," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Rodriguez, according to MCSO, is charged with five counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

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