State Watch

Retired Border Patrol agent accused of being serial rapist in decades-old cold cases

A recently retired Border Patrol agent suspected of being a serial rapist in Arizona was arrested this week in connection with decades-old cold cases.

John Daly III, 57, was arrested in Sierra Vista on Tuesday, almost 22 years after his first alleged offense.

“We are excited to make this announcement and hope that this brings some closure to the many victims affected by John Daly III,” the Mesa Police Department said in a statement.

Daly is accused of being the East Valley serial rapist, a long sought after criminal linked to a series of sexual assaults that occurred between July 1999 and October 2001.

Eight of the cases were connected by the suspect’s similar behavior, which involved entering through unlocked or broken doors and windows and blindfolding the victim. Three cases — in the towns of Mesa, Gilbert and Bisbee — were matched by DNA technology, though police said no leads were established at the time.

A November 2000 article that appeared in the Arizona Republic stated that police believed a serial rapist was stalking and attacking white women between 21 and 41 years old in single-family homes.

In February of this year, Mesa police developed a break in the case thanks to funding from the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a program from the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the U.S. Department of Justice.

Daly’s name was introduced and investigators discovered that he had lived nearby when the attacks took place. DNA reportedly linked him to two of the sexual assaults in April.

He was taken into custody with the help of the U.S. Marshals Arizona Wanted Violent Offender Task Force and other law enforcement agencies, Mesa police said.

Daly was booked into the Cochise County Jail on charges related to three of the eight assaults. He is facing four counts of sexual assault, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of burglary and three counts of sexual abuse.

Other charges are likely to be filed by the Bisbee Police Department for cases that occurred in their jurisdiction.

Daly joined the Border Patrol amid the alleged crime spree. Officials told The Hill on Wednesday that he joined the force at the Douglas Station in November 1999 and stayed for 20 years until his retirement in December 2019.

In a statement to The Hill, Border Patrol said, “[Customs and Border Protection (CBP)] does not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our current or former personnel.”

“It is important to note that CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. Given the pending investigation, all inquiries are being referred to the Mesa Police Department,” the statement continued. 

Mesa police said the agency “cooperated and supported this investigation.”

–Updated at 3:10 p.m.

Tags Arizona Border Patrol agent DNA technology East Valley Rapist John Daly III Kidnapping Mesa serial rapist Sexual assault
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