SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Police in San Jose on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl behind a church over the weekend, authorities confirmed.
San Jose police said they arrested 20-year-old Esteban Mosqueda arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Police said he allegedly lured the 17-year-old girl behind Liberty Baptist Church located on the 2700 block of King Road at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening and sexually assaulted her.
“They kind of just crossed paths and he engaged her in conversation. Shortly afterwards was when the incident occurred,” said Gina Tepoorten with the San Jose Police Department.
Police said the suspect and victim did not know each other.
“This was completely a stranger abduction. The victim did not know the suspect in this case. He convinced her to go with him behind the church, and that’s when he violently attacked and sexually assaulted her,” said Tepoorten.
Investigators identified the attacker as Mosqueda and took him into custody Wednesday.
KPIX 5 spoke on the phone with a member of the church who has viewed surveillance video that helped identify Mosqueda. He said the video shows the suspect and victim talking for a while and then he suddenly grabs her from behind and throws her to the ground.
The video later shows the girl completely disrobed and the suspect leaving the scene.
Police praised the victim for coming forward.
“She’s absolutely to be commended on her strength throughout this whole ordeal. Very traumatic experience for someone to have to go through,” said Tepoorten.
Late Wednesday evening, a woman who appears to know Mosqueda took to Twitter to defend him.
Mosqueda will be booked into county jail on a number of charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and sexual battery.