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Tip leads to arrest of Y. rape suspect

An alert student's call about a man loitering in a parking lot led to the arrest of a rape suspect Monday.

Police said a man is suspected in the November rape of a Brig-ham Young University student who was attacked while walking home from church and an attempted abduction of another student last month.Luis Alonso Rivera, 38, Provo, was booked into the Utah County Jail Tuesday for investigation of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping and sexual assault.

He is also being held for Immigration and Naturalization Service for allegedly being in the United States illegally. Rivera, who is married with two children, has lived in Provo since September, said Provo Police Capt. Keith Teuscher. No charges have been filed against him.

BYU police received a call Monday night about a man milling around a parking lot two blocks east of Brick Oven restaurant just off the south end of campus. BYU notified Provo police, and officers from both agencies secretly watched the man approach women as they walked through the lighted lot, Teuscher said.

A man who raped a woman Nov. 30 first engaged her in friendly conversation in an area known as "Maeser Hill," which isn't far from the parking lot.

"He was out ready to strike again," Teuscher said.

"Without (the tip), we may have had another victim . . . instead of an arrest," BYU Police Lt. Greg Barber said.

Officers moved in to question the man after observing his behavior in the parking lot for a while. Police later obtained a search warrant for his house and car. Teuscher said officers confiscated clothing that matched descriptions provided them by the sexual assault victims.

The man also led police to a knife stashed in bushes near the BYU campus, he said.

Police believe the man raped a 23-year-old female BYU student behind a shrub at a house in the area of 700 N. 300 East on Nov. 30. The woman was walking home from church and had just walked down Maeser Hill about 6 p.m. on a Sunday when a man jogged past her and then stopped to talk, police said.

They spoke for a few minutes before the man grabbed her and threatened to kill her with a knife unless she cooperated with him, police said. The man then dragged the woman to a nearby yard and raped her.

BYU police reported a similar incident occurred Nov. 23 in the same general area. A man approached a female BYU student, engaged her in conservation and tried to grab her. The woman got away.

Teuscher said police have not connected the man arrested Tuesday to that incident, although they are looking into that possibility.

Police do believe the suspect tried to abduct a 22-year-old woman on the morning of Jan. 13 as she walked to BYU in the area of 560 N. 1130 East.

A man who had asked her for the time approached her from behind, grabbed her and threatened her with a knife, police said.

After forcing her to walk with him about 25 or 30 yards, the woman saw a light on in a home they were passing and screamed. The startled man let go of the woman, who ran to the house and called the police. The suspect fled on foot.

Police officers combed the area but were unable to locate an assailant at that time.