DES MOINES, Iowa -- After more than year, Des Moines Police have made an arrest in a kidnapping and sexual abuse case.
U.S. Customs took 41-year-old Jason Imi into custody this week in Hawaii before extraditing him back to Iowa. He's now being held in the Polk County Jail. Investigators say he raped a 14-year-old girl in the laundry room of an apartment complex in July of 2017.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim was locked outside of her family's apartment complex in the 3900 block of Hubbell and asked to be let inside. Once inside, the victim says Imi followed her then grabbed her, pulling her into the laundry room. The criminal complaint states the girl was forced to have both vaginal and oral sex with the suspect despite telling him "no" and screaming for him to stop. The complaint says the girl's mother heard those screams and stepped in to save her daughter.
"These are the situations that give parents chills and keep us awake at night. What can we do to keep our children safe? The best thing we can do is to keep these predators off the street," says Sergeant Paul Parizek, a spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department.
It took investigators nearly 16 months to get Imi off the streets. Parizek says it was difficult knowing exactly where the suspect was.
"Once we got him identified we were always one step behind him," he says. "He had been in multiple states within the continental US and then had ultimately gone to Hawaii. He was picked up by the customs agency as he was trying to come back to the US."
Imi is being held in the Polk County Jail on kidnapping and sexual abuse in the third degree charges. Police are still looking for a second person believed to be involved according to eyewitness reports. However, police have not identified the person.
"There is an increase awareness when we know we have someone out there. We don’t think this is a case where he is a serial offender but he’s definitely someone we want to get off the street."