Austin police say a man who they charged last week with kidnapping a prostitute and dousing her with gasoline might have been involved in at least 10 assault cases since December, and they are urging potential victims to step forward.
In total, Nicodemo Coria-Gonzalez, 26, is facing five charges in three incidents in North Austin: two counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated sexual assault.
Police said he offered rides to two of the reported victims when they were waiting at North Austin bus stops. One stop is on West St. Johns Avenue near Lamar Boulevard and the other is on Northgate Boulevard just south of Rundberg Lane, police said.
The woman he is accused of sexually assaulting is 68 years old and walks with the help of a cane, police said. She got into Coria-Gonzalez’s car July 23 because he offered her a ride to a store she needed to visit.
He is accused of stabbing another woman June 27 while she was waiting for the bus. Police say Coria-Gonzalez offered to give her a ride to a Valero gas station to buy cigarettes. After refusing to have sex with him, the woman pulled a knife out of her purse to defend herself, police said, but Coria-Gonzalez took the knife and stabbed her.
And most recently, police tracked down another reported victim who officers said is a prostitute. Coria-Gonzalez is accused of kidnapping her, taking her to a grassy area near Ferguson Lane and Cameron Road and dousing her with gasoline with a can that was already on site. The woman managed to escape, police said.
The woman “did not believe that sex was a part of his intent at all,” said Detective Robert Thompson with the sex crimes unit. “It strictly was to take her out there and potentially light her on fire.”
Coria-Gonzalez was arrested after police reviewed surveillance footage of the gas station in the stabbing incident and were able to connect the attacker’s vehicle in the video to Coria-Gonzalez. During interviews with police, Coria-Gonzalez admitted to taking at least six women to the Ferguson Lane and Cameron Road location — which he called his “garden” — and assaulting them.
Thompson said Coria-Gonzalez is also a prime suspect in several other cases, but investigators haven’t filed charges while they wait for DNA test results, look for other potential victims and complete their investigations. The victims’ ages have ranged from their early 30s to their late 60s, Thompson said.
Thompson urged anyone else who might have been picked up in North or Northeast Austin and been assaulted to contact police. Investigators know of at least one more possible victim who hasn’t reported the incident, Thompson said.
Coria-Gonzalez is in Travis County Jail with bail set at a combined $890,000. Federal immigration authorities have requested his detention.
Authorities say Coria-Gonzalez has been convicted three times of driving while intoxicated and was charged with tampering with a government record. Federal immigration authorities say he has been deported five times between 2012 and 2015 based on his criminal convictions.
Thompson said investigators don’t believe Coria-Gonzalez is connected to a series of sexual attacks that have been reported in North Austin since November.
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