Gaithersburg man arrested for attempted rape of cleaning lady

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County police arrested and charged a Gaithersburg, Maryland, man with attempted second-degree rape on Friday.

Joao B. Rodrigues, 24, of Gaithersburg, was taken into custody after officers with the 1st District Special Assignment Team saw him walk into the apartment building at 8010 Gramercy Boulevard, the same building where the attempted rape took place last week.

“During an investigation there’s a possibility that a suspect committed the crime in an area he’s familiar with, whether he lives in the area, works or frequents various places in the area,” Montgomery County Police spokeswoman Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti said. “That was the mindset in this investigation. Detectives wanted to explore the possibility that he went to that apartment complex because he was familiar with it. And in fact he did state to detectives that he had been in that building and used that bathroom on previous occasions.”

The victim said a man approached her on Nov. 30 and told her that a bathroom in the apartment did not have any paper towels. When the victim went to refill the towels, the suspect grabbed her and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim got away and called police.

Officers were watching the complex and identified Rodrigues, who matched the surveillance photographs, as the suspect.

“Detectives did obtain surveillance video of the suspect,” Innocenti said. “So during the investigation, plainclothes officers conducted surveillance in the area where this attempted rape occurred in hoping they would be able to locate the suspect.”

Rodrigues admitted assaulting a cleaning lady during a police interview. He is being held without bond.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

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