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Yosemite National Park employee targeted in brutal rape incident: officials

Federal authorities recently announced the indictment of a suspect who is accused of raping a Yosemite National Park employee last month.

In a press release published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California on Thursday, authorities named Nathan Baptista as the suspect. The 36-year-old has been charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse after an indictment by a grand jury on Thursday.

Authorities are accusing the suspect of sexually assaulting and choking a female Yosemite National Park employee at the end of May. 

“According to court documents, on May 31, 2024, Baptista forcibly raped and strangled a female park employee after meeting her that night,” the press release read.

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Split image of Yosemite mountains and gavel

“This case is the product of an investigation by the National Park Service,” the statement added. “Assistant U.S. Attorney Arin C. Heinz is prosecuting the case.”

According to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Baptista was a Yosemite Hospitality employee at the time of the incident. The rape took place at a house that the suspect shared with his co-workers.

“[The victim] reported that when she and a friend were walking home they stopped at the house the subject (“Nate”) shares with other Yosemite Hospitality employees… [the victim] indicated that she was in the living room talking with the subject, nobody else was around, and that is when he assaulted her,” the documents described.

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A welcome sign at the Yosemite National Park

“The subject was physically violent, and she had visible bruising from the incident.”

The maximum punishment that the suspect faces is life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office added that Baptista’s punishment “would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.”

Authorities are actively investigating the incident. No additional details are known at this time.

Yosemite

Fox News Digital reached out to the National Park Service for additional information, but did not immediately hear back.

Read the full article here

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