Thousand Oaks Man Convicted of Assaulting Multiple Women and Teen

Serial Attacker Sentenced to 32 Years to Life in California

A California man has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of a series of assaults on women and a teenager. Edgar Rodriguez Ruelas, 42, of Woodland Hills, was found guilty on May 2 of attacking five females between 2017 and 2020, the Ventura County district attorney announced on June 6.

Assaults in Apartments and on Hiking Trails

Ruelas’s reign of terror began in June 2017 when he assaulted a 25-year-old woman in her Thousand Oaks apartment. He entered through an unlocked door and startled the victim awake by opening her bedroom door.

Despite his attempt to push her onto the bed, she managed to fight back and called for her roommate, causing Ruelas to flee.

The following month, in July 2017, Ruelas struck again. This time, his victim was a woman hiking in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks.

He stalked her along the trail before tackling her to the ground, straddling her, and groping her. Her quick thinking and the claim that she had contacted her husband and the police scared Ruelas off.

Continued Threats and Escapes

In October 2017, Ruelas targeted another apartment in Thousand Oaks. He entered through an unlocked door while the woman and her boyfriend were asleep.

The woman awoke to find Ruelas standing over her, and he sexually assaulted her while covering her mouth. When his hand moved, she called out to her boyfriend, who chased Ruelas. However, Ruelas managed to escape once again.

Ruelas’s attacks continued into 2019. In April of that year, he ambushed a woman on a hiking trail in Oak Park. He jumped from the bushes, tackled her to the ground, and fled only after she fought back and claimed that others knew her whereabouts.

A Teenager’s Brave Escape

The last known assault occurred in March 2020. A 16-year-old girl was hiking near her home in Oak Park when Ruelas emerged from the bushes and tackled her.

The teen defended herself, screaming and hitting him with the ukulele she was carrying. Her bravery allowed her to escape and find a neighbor who called 911.

Thousand Oaks Man Convicted of Assaulting Multiple Women and Teen

Arrest and Conviction

Investigators ultimately identified Ruelas as the serial attacker through a combination of witness descriptions, a vehicle linked to the scenes, and DNA evidence.

The thorough investigation led to his arrest and subsequent conviction on multiple counts of assault with intent to commit a forcible sex crime.

Ruelas received a sentence of 32 years to life in prison, plus an additional 21 years. This sentence reflects the severity of his crimes and the lasting impact on his victims.

Community Response and Support

Thousand Oaks, located about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, has been shaken by these events. Community members and officials have expressed their relief that Ruelas has been apprehended and justice served.

Local authorities have urged residents to remain vigilant and to always ensure their homes are secure.

Resources for Victims

For those affected by sexual assault, help is available. The National Sexual Assault Hotline provides support at 1-800-656-4673 and through an online chatroom. It’s essential for victims to know they are not alone and that resources are available to assist them in their recovery.

Related Incidents

This case is a stark reminder of the dangers that can lurk both indoors and in public spaces.

It follows other disturbing incidents in California, such as a deputy repeatedly sexually abusing young girls, a man assaulting a woman in a parking lot and attempting to kidnap her daughter, and a woman calling 911 while hiding from a man who held her captive for weeks.

Ensuring Safety

Authorities emphasize the importance of safety measures, such as locking doors and being aware of one’s surroundings, especially when hiking alone.

While Ruelas is now behind bars, the community continues to focus on preventing future attacks and supporting those who have suffered from such traumatic experiences.


Edgar Rodriguez Ruelas’s conviction brings a measure of justice to his victims and a sense of security to the Thousand Oaks community. His sentence underscores the gravity of his actions and serves as a warning to others who might contemplate similar crimes.

The bravery of the victims and the diligence of law enforcement have brought an end to this serial attacker’s spree.

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