A 23-year-old Palm Desert man was charged Thursday in connection with the rape of a woman who had passed out at a party.
John Charles Velarde was arrested Tuesday for allegedly assaulting the woman on July 20 during an all-night party at a residence in the 55000 block of Rue Motigny Street in Desert Hot Springs.
He was charged Thursday with a felony count of rape of an unconscious victim, with arraignment scheduled this afternoon at the Larson Justice Center.
According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Raymond Gregory, the 29-year-old woman, whose name was withheld, “became intoxicated and fell asleep in a bedroom,” awakening around 5 a.m. to discover that she was being sexually assaulted.
Velarde fled the residence, but sheriff’s investigators identified him based on information provided by partygoers and eventually tracked him down in the Coachella Valley, the captain said.