| Crime |

Chaparral High School Student Accused of Being Scottsdale Rapist

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A 16-year-old Chaparral High School student has been arrested in a bizarre case involving two rapes in Scottsdale.

Danny Jackson's the one accused of the rapes, and was arrested Friday -- about a week after another man turned himself over to police in the case.

Shortly after the rapes were reported to police -- on October 18 and 24 -- Scottsdale police released a sketch of their suspect in the case, which was plastered all over TV stations.

Not long after that, it seemed like Scottsdale PD had their guy: a 22-year-old named Ryan Festa went to the police department with his attorney.

Festa lives in the area of the sexual assaults, and apparently called his lawyer after he saw the sketch on TV, thinking it resembled him.

Festa was jailed on the charges, but a judge ordered that Festa be released because there wasn't enough evidence in the case. It just seemed like one of those things, but things started to get weird after Fox 10 interviewed Festa's lawyer:

"Mr. Festa decided to present himself to Scottsdale PD because he wanted to give them the opportunity to look at him and determine whether they wanted to pursue any other comparisons between him and the sketch," said [attorney Bernardo] Garcia.

A closer look at Festa's criminal past raises some questions. Out of nearly a dozen cases, ranging from assault charges to shoplifting, nearly all were dismissed.

Strangely enough, that was actually the case -- Festa's DNA didn't match up with the rapist's. According to court documents obtained by New Times, Festa's attorney did all the talking for him in the interview with police, saying his client had a traumatic brain injury and is "very susceptible to suggestion."

The only thing police found at his apartment after serving a search warrant was some marijuana, which would be a probation violation, according to the documents.

On Halloween, police ran into Jackson, who would eventually become their new suspect in the case.

According to court documents, police were looking into some people who had been suspects in other crimes in the area where the sexual assaults occurred. Police responded to a criminal-damage call at a CVS store on October 31, at a location about a mile from the sexual assaults.

Jackson was arrested for that criminal damage, and according to court documents, was identified as someone who had been "previously identified as a person of interest in the sexual assault investigations."

Jackson's physical description matched up with the one provided by the victims, and when police brought Jackson to the police station, they gave him an unopened bottle of water as they interviewed him about the criminal damage at the CVS.

Police took the water bottle after the interview, and obtained Jackson's DNA -- which matched the rapist's, according to court documents.

Jackson admitted his involvement in the crimes, according to police.

In the first incident, on October 18, the suspect, allegedly Jackson, stood completely naked at the backdoor of a woman's condo, and forced the door open after the victim saw him there. The woman was sexually assaulted, and the suspect ran off after the victim promised not to "tell," according to court documents.

In the second incident, on October 24, a woman was attacked inside her apartment, about a quarter-mile away from the location of the first attack.

As the woman was being attacked, she offered the man marijuana to just leave. The woman tried to run away while the suspect was looking for this marijuana, but the suspect caught her. He ended up running away shortly after this, apparently upon getting spooked after hearing a neighbor's voice outside.

Jackson faces various charges including sexual assault, kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, sexual abuse, burglary, and aggravated assault. He's being held without bond.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.