RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A man was arrested and charged in six sexual assaults dating back to 1996 in Riverside County, according to officials.
50-year-old Darin Edward Cooke was arrested on May 26 in Prescott, Arizona, where he had been living.
Cooke was extradited to California and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on Sunday, where he is being held on $3 million bail.
He is accused of committing sexual crimes between 1996 and 1998 in Riverside, and 2007 in Corona, involving six known victims. Officials believe there could be more victims who have not yet come forward.
“These were extremely violent assaults,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. “The victims suffered. These were tremendously horrible incidents, and for some of them, their lives will never be the same.”
Cooke pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the charges against him, which included six counts of forcible rape, four counts of forced oral copulation, three counts of assault with intent to commit rape, two counts of kidnapping to commit rape and one count of unlawful bodily injury by means of sexual penetration, with assorted sentence-enhancing allegations, including targeting multiple victims in sex crimes.
“This man terrorized the community. The victims were terrorized,” Hestrin said. “It was some great detective work that led us to this point.”
Officials were able to find a connection between the cases and identify Cooke as a suspect using the state’s DNA database, where genetic material from each attack was stored.
The District Attorney thanked the collaborative work between Riverside and Corona detectives, the FBI and some of the now-retired officers who worked on the case in the 90s, for helping to make an arrest.
Cooke’s status hearing is scheduled for July 31 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Anyone with information about the cases is asked to contact the Corona and Riverside police departments.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)