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November 22, 2014

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Beauty and the Beast’ sticker leads to arrest in sex assaults

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Tiffany Gibson

Metro Police display the mugshot of Antonio Farias next to two composite sketches released earlier as they were searching for a suspect.

Updated Thursday, July 15, 2010 | 1:20 p.m.

A 27-year-old man who police say assaulted five women in his car in the past two months was arrested Tuesday night during a traffic stop in the western Las Vegas Valley. Police said a “Beauty and the Beast” sticker on his car that was described by the alleged victims helped them nab the man.

Antonio Farias was booked into the Clark County Detention Center in connection with two counts of attempted sexual assault and two counts of first-degree kidnapping tied to five sexual assaults, the first of which allegedly occurred May 9.

Police said Farias approached women at bus stops in the area of Flamingo Road and Arville Street. Some of the women got into his car voluntarily and others were threatened and forced inside, authorities said.

He appeared friendly to gain their trust and would drive them to different areas in western and northern parts of the valley to sexually assault them, police said.

Police Lt. Christopher Carroll said at a news conference Thursday that officers were able to link Farias to the assaults during a traffic stop at Valley View Boulevard and Viking Road on Tuesday night. He said officers stopped the vehicle and noticed a “Beauty and the Beast” Disney sticker on the car's dashboard, which some of the alleged sexual assault victims had described.

Carroll said Farias also matched descriptions given by victims. He said Farias is currently facing charges in four cases, but additional charges are possible.

“In our discussions with him, we’re more confident that other people are out there,” Carroll said.

Police said Farias denied forcing women into his car, saying that some women got into his car and “threw themselves at him,” the report said. He then changed his story and told officers he had assaulted women who got into his car voluntarily, police said.

Most of the incidents occurred between midnight and 5 a.m., Carroll said. The last reported incident occurred on June 19, according to an arrest report.

A woman walking in the area of South Jones Boulevard that day told police a man drove up and offered her a ride. She declined and then he got out of his car, grabbed her by the arms and forced her into the vehicle, police said.

He then took her behind a building and tried to sexually assault her, the report said. The woman told officers Farias called her a prostitute and offered her $20 to perform a sex act. The victim refused and was able to escape, police said.

In an earlier incident on June 17, a woman reported that she had accepted a ride from Farias because he seemed religious and kind. She said he offered her a ride while she was waiting to take a bus to work.

She said he took her to a vacant parking lot and assaulted her. She fought him off and started to run away but he grabbed her and threw her to the ground, authorities said. Police said she then was able to escape and contact authorities.

Farias is scheduled to appear Friday at the Regional Justice Center for a 48-hour hearing. He is being held without bail.

Police are urging other possible victims to come forward. Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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