Omaha serial sexual assault suspect makes first court appearance

Police said the 22-year-old had been arrested in April after a domestic disturbance incident.
The suspect accused in a string of sexual assaults and attempted kidnappings made his first appearance in court.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 2:48 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Law enforcement didn’t have to go far to track down sexual assault suspect Puoch Puoch.

The suspect was already in custody on a separate felony domestic assault charge. Douglas County prosecutors added more to his laundry list of charges.

Already in custody on unrelated charges, Puoch Puoch, 22, right, will also face new charges...
Already in custody on unrelated charges, Puoch Puoch, 22, right, will also face new charges relating to a sexual assault last March, Omaha Police announced Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. OPD released a photo, left, of a person of interest in the case last April.(Omaha Police Department)

Those new charges include attempted kidnapping, terroristic threats, theft, two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of burglary, and three counts of robbery.

Prosecutors believe the suspect was caught on security video lurking around the homes of his victims. They also say more victims could be out there.

According to police reports, on March 10, a 32-year-old woman told police she was sleeping on her couch in her home when she awoke to a man walking around with a phone flashlight. She told police she believed the man was her husband, until he grabbed her and attempted to drag her out of the home and sexually assault her.

The woman told police she believes he got into the home by tampering with her garage door keypad. The next morning, the family realized their car was missing from their driveway, too.

A week later, a 39-year-old woman told police she woke up to a man sitting on her bed, and that he had broken in through her apartment’s bedroom window, which he had to remove the screen from. A criminal complaint alleges the man attempted to sexually assault her before leaving with her purse and wallet.

The following week, a 49-year-old woman told police she heard a noise downstairs early in the morning. According to a police report, she went downstairs to find a man in her home by her back door. She told police the man sexually assaulted her and left with her wallet.

“We’ve had some serial rapists before, certainly, over the course of time, but this is a little unique in that it’s also a crime of opportunity,” said Douglas County Attorney Chief Deputy Brenda Beadle. “We’ve charged him with robberies, burglaries and sexual assaults, so it’s a little different in that respect.”

At the end of March 2022, OPD was urging the public to be cautious as investigators looked into a sexual assault with the help of the FBI. About a week later, authorities released a low-res image of a person they believed was connected to the case.

Records also indicate a warrant had been issued for Puoch’s arrest in Alaska after he skipped out on probation stemming from a charge of being a felon possessing a firearm. His preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 21.