AUSTIN -- Police say a man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two women.
Joseph Cerna, 36, is charged with two counts of sexual assault from incidents that occurred in December and July.
According to an arrest affidavit, in December Cerna offered a ride to a woman walking home alone in the dark. He identified himself as a security officer and, although the woman told him she was close to home, urged her to get into his car. The woman says Cerna called himself a "good guy" and asked if she wanted to get a drink with him. When she said no, Cerna reportedly took off driving with her in the car.
Marie McCoy enjoys an afternoon stroll along 6th Street. She says when the sun goes down, she heads home.
"Mainly it's the party street. Everybody comes down to party and drink it up. During the day it's pretty much like this," said Marie McCoy. "People take advantage of people so easily."
Cerna then arrived at an apartment complex he claimed was his and the pair went inside. He told the woman he would only take her home if she had with him. The victim told police she feared for her safety so she complied.
During the second incident in July, a woman told police she was drinking on Sixth Street downtown when she forgot where she parked her car. She ended up at a fast food restaurant where Cerna approached her and offered help in the form of food and a ride home.
Cerna drove the woman to an apartment complex and told her they were going to his condo. The woman says Cerna got aggressive when she didn't want to go inside and told him she would walk home. Police say Cerna then drove the woman to her apartment and assaulted her in the passenger seat of the car.
Police believe there could be other women who fell for Cena's scheme.
"The concern is he might have had other victims in the past we don't know of," said Detective Christian Angeles.
According to the affidavit, Cerna told the woman, “We’re friends now, I can’t wait to see you again.”
Detective Angeles reminds all women, "Definitely have somebody with you at all times. Bring your cellphone and don't ever get in the car with a stranger."
Cerna was arrested Thursday and is being held in jail on a $200,000 bond.