Serial Rapist Wanted Since 2009 Extradited Back to Tuscaloosa County
A wanted fugitive accused of committing a series of sexual assaults in the area 13 years ago has been extradited back to Tuscaloosa County to face charges.
Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, said then 24-year-old Alexander Velazquez-Hernandez.is believed to have sexually assaulted two University of Alabama students between 2008 and 2009 and attempted to do so to a third victim.
All the victims lived in the same apartment complex on Reed Street, Kennedy said.
The first victim told police in July 2008 that a man posed as a maintenance worker and entered her apartment then sexually assaulted her when they were alone inside.
No arrest was ever made despite an aggressive investigation. In February 2009, two more incidents were reported in the same apartment complex.
One would-be victim refused to let a man who said he was a maintenance worker into her apartment, but later that day he was able to enter a different victim's living space and sexually assault her within.
All area police agencies began working to find the serial rapist, who they knew was a Hispanic male. Despite measures involving releasing the suspect's description, increased patrols around the apartment complex and the UA campus and rapid responses to reports of suspicious activity, the man was never caught in the act.
Eventually, DNA evidence identified Velazquez-Hernandez as the suspect in this case, but when warrants were issued for his arrest in June 2009, he was nowhere to be found.
Kennedy said police believed he may have left the United States and gone to Mexico.
"In the 13 years since these crimes occurred, the Violent Crimes Unit investigators have kept this case active and open, working relentlessly to take Velazquez-Hernandez into custody," Kennedy said. "Through the combined efforts of the Violent Crimes Unit, the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, the international extradition case for this subject remained a priority."
Kennedy said throughout the years, the VCU has developed intelligence on where Velazquez-Hernandez was hiding and in early 2022, new information was received and passed on to federal police and Mexican law enforcement agencies.
"Once again, all the parties involved moved quickly to locate and detain this individual," Kennedy said. "With the cooperation and efforts of the Mexican Federal Police, Alexander Velazquez-Hernandez was located and detained in Mexico. Legal
proceedings were held to verify his identity and grant his extradition to the United States."
That extradition was granted, and Valzquez-Hernandez was transported to Tuscaloosa County Tuesday. He was booked in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, where he is being held without bond because of his proven flight risk.
Kennedy said he was charged with two counts of first-degree Burglary, first-degree Rape, first-degree Sodomy, first-degree Sexual Abuse and Attempted Burglary.
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