One Year Ago Today (January 11, 2021)…A man accused of dragging a woman behind a bush and sexually assaulting her in Diamond Bar was arrested after being identified through DNA evidence, authorities said.

Joel Martinez, 37, was taken into custody Wednesday at his Riverside County home, and charged Friday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with one count each of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, forcible oral copulation and attempted forcible rape, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies were called Dec. 8 to Brea Canyon Road and Sapphire Lane, where a woman told them Martinez approached her on her walk to work about 4:15 a.m. that morning and asked to borrow her cellphone, Deputy Joana Warren said in a news release.

When she told Martinez no, he “appeared upset, turned and walked away,” Warren said.

About five minutes later, the woman said Martinez grabbed her from behind and placed her in a choke hold while he dragged her behind a set of bushes about 100 feet away. He then sexually assaulted her while threatening her with a pocket knife, according to deputies.

“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau believes it is possible there may be additional victims in this case,” Warren said, adding that anyone with information can call the Special Victims Bureau toll-free tip line at 877-710-5273 or email

Martinez is being held on $1.2 million bail.

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