Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, who goes by the nickname "El Tin Larin," is accused of grabbing a 12-year-old girl outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Fullerton, Calif., while he was in full clown makeup, then driving her to a school where she was raped inside the car, authorities said.
"Here you have somebody who has been arrested for the kidnap and rape of a 12-year-old child and he is putting himself in a position in a regular basis to be around young and very young children," Fullerton police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich told AOL News. "This is some of the most serious kind of investigations that we can undertake."
Jimenez, 41, of Anaheim, has been a professional clown on weekends for at least nine years and is a construction worker by day. He works in the Hispanic community and drives a black commercial van with his logo emblazoned on the front, along with numerous balloons.
The Jane Doe attack occurred in 2002 but wasn't solved. Police placed the rapist's DNA in a state database with the hope that the offender would some day be arrested for another crime and a match would be made.
Then in November, Jimenez was arrested on suspicion of abusing a relative's child, and he submitted a DNA sample in accordance with California law. The sample matched the 2002 victim. The 2010 case is pending.
Fullerton police staked out the home Jimenez shared with his wife and three sons to make an arrest, but the clown was never seen exiting the residence. On Friday, a relative left the house and was followed to another home where Jimenez was seen in the backyard. He was arrested and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
An arraignment scheduled for today was postponed until April 22.
"It's not unusual for people who want to molest children to have jobs that have access to them," Susan Schroeder, the Orange County district attorney's chief of staff, told AOL News. "I can't think of a more perfect job than a clown to do this. Someone with that much access, with that kind of intent is someone we have to watch out for. We doubt this is the first or only time he has done this, and we really need victims to come forward."
Police and prosecutors would like anyone with information about any other crimes to call either Fullerton police at 714-738-5327 or the DA's office at 714-347-8794.