DA files charges against man connected to assault of 12-year-old (updated)

A month-long manhunt came to an end last week with the arrest of a 34-year-old man, accused of assaulting a 12-year-old Claremont girl.

Joseph Chandler Davall was taken into custody at his home in Yucca Valley on Friday morning after a short pursuit involving Claremont police and the San Bernardino Sheriffs.

“This is good for our victim and good for our community,” Claremont Lieutenant Mike Ciszek said at a news conference late Friday morning.

The District Attorney’s Office has filed several criminal charges against Mr. Davall, who appeared in a Los Angeles court on Tuesday. Accusations include rape by force or fear and assault with intent to commit rape of a minor. He is being held at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles for $5 million bail. He is due in the Pomona Superior Court on May 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Mr. Davall was arrested based on evidence found at the crime scene, according to Lieutenant Mike Ciszek, who would not elaborate on whether or not it was DNA evidence. Detectives worked through the night to gather information on the suspect and complete a search warrant, served this morning. Evidence relating to the Claremont crime was found at his residence, police confirmed.

The Claremont Police Department has not released a photo of Mr. Davall or further details at this time as additional evidence suggests Mr. Davall could be involved in at least 10 or 15 related crimes throughout southern California, according to Lt. Ciszek. Only one Claremont victim has been identified.

Mr. Davall has been arrested before on a number of other charges, including domestic violence. Online records show that Mr. Davall was arrested by the Desert Springs Police Department in 2012 for rape, armed force and residential burglary.  

A man by the same name has been previously linked to the Claremont area. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, a Joseph C Davall is registered as a certified producer of dates at a farm located on Capp Road in Desert Center. Mr. Duvall was arrested in 2012 at the same address, according to police records. Mr. Duvall used to rent a booth at the Claremont farmers market, according to market manager Oscar De Leon, but stopped three or for years ago.

The minor was at home alone in late March when she was awoken from her sleep due to strange noises, according to police. Mr. Davall, seen standing over her, allegedly proceeded to physically and sexually assault her. Police have not disclosed how Mr. Davall gained entry to the home, but have said in previous statements that they do not believe he forced his way in. It is not believed that the family knows the suspect.

“At this point it looks like a random event,” Lt. Ciszek said.

—Beth Hartnett



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