Colorado man arrested for rapes across Ventura, LA counties

A Colorado man is facing multiple sexual assault charges in Los Angeles and Ventura counties after matching his DNA to several sexual assault test kits, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Charles Edward Gaines III was arrested in August of this year in Aurora, Colorado, for an extortion case being handled by the Los Angeles Police Department. When Gaines was arrested, the department obtained a DNA profile of him. That profile matched him to multiple two rapes and one attempted rape in LA County as well as a rape in Simi Valley between 2019 and 2020. 

Gaines is facing five charges in LA County, including oral copulation by force, sodomy by force, sexual battery by restraint, rape, and attempted rape. In Ventura County, Gaines is facing two charges: human trafficking of a minor and rape of a minor.

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According to Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko, investigators were able to make the alleged link between Gaines and the rapes thanks to federal funding from the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a grant Ventura County received from the Department of Justice. 

"Having the funding to support a cold case sexual assault unit within the District Attorney’s Office is essential to addressing cases that have gone unsolved," Nasarenko said.

Gaines appeared in court Tuesday, but his arraignment was postponed until Nov. 30. He remains in custody without bail.