Rape suspect picked up in California

The hunt has ended for a Dayton man suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Carson City girl, officials said Wednesday.

Michael Botelho, 42, was arrested by police in Susanville, Calif., Tuesday night. He is being held in the Lassen County Jail on a Washoe County warrant charging him with three counts of sexual assault, one count of kidnapping and one count of battery with intent to commit sexual assault.

A tip Tuesday night led police to the Frontier Inn on Main Street in Susanville where they found Botelho, his wife and two small children, said Washoe County Sheriff Sgt. David Nikoley.

"A Good Samaritan noticed the vehicle and vehicle plate and made some phone calls that put the ball in motion," he said.

Botelho was arrested about 10 p.m. without incident, Nikoley said.

Motel manager Tina Patel said Marilou Botelho, the suspect's wife, rented the room for one night at 8 p.m. , paying with cash.

"The lady checked in alone," Patel said.

A short time later, she said, police arrived asking about Botelho and showing a picture of him.

Botelho is accused of contacting the victim after she placed an ad in a local free-distribution paper offering babysitting services.

He picked her up from her Carson City home on the pretense she was going to watch his children, Nikoley said.

Instead, Botelho allegedly took the girl to an isolated area at the south end of Washoe Lake, where he sexually assaulted her for an hour.

Nikoley said Botelho then dropped the girl off in her neighborhood, warning her not to contact police. She reported the incident immediately.

Investigators were able to trace Botelho through a cell phone number, but when they went to his home in the Mark Twain area of Dayton on Aug. 26, only his wife was there.

A search warrant was issued and investigators combed Botelho's home and a 2000 Ford Explorer for evidence, Nikoley said.

He said DNA evidence supports the charges.

Last week someone reported seeing Botelho at his home, but when police arrived, the Explorer was gone, as was Marilou Botelho and the children.

Nikoley said he was pleased that Botelho was in jail.

"We needed to get this guy into custody? Who knows what he would have done if he remained out there," he said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment