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Sexual assault suspect arrested
Johnson Keokanock
Johnson Keokanock

A 31-year-old Modesto man has been arrested for sexual assault following some proactive Ceres Police detective work.

Officers were called to the 99 Cents Only store at 1450 E. Hatch Road at 10:36 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17 after a woman reported she was being stalked and later assaulted by a man. Officer Bill Carter gathered information and noted it was similar to three other incidents reported over the last few prior shifts. A female employee said the man followed her around the store, approached her and began fondling her ear. He moved his waist forward and placed his groin against her side. The worker alerted the manager and the man left the store.

Officers from different shifts compared notes. Officer Jeremy Caron said he handled a similar incident two days prior at the Dollar Tree on Hatch Road. He also learned of a similar incident at Cost Less Foods where a man was harassing a female employee. 

As Officer Caron was attempting to review video footage of the suspect, fellow officers received a call from a female being followed by a man in the same area. Police began searching the area. Using a photograph of the suspect from Cost Less surveillance video, Officer Caron spotted the suspect walking into the 99 Cents Only store. Officers detained Johnson Keokanock, 31, of Modesto.

Victims from the four cases positively identified Keokanock as the man who stalked or touched them. Two of the four cases were documented as suspicious circumstances but will be cross-referenced to the other two cases where victims were physically/sexually assaulted. 

Keokanock faces two counts of stalking, two counts of sexual battery, false imprisonment and first-degree burglary. He was also booked on two outstanding warrants for traffic related offenses including DUI. 

Anyone with information related to any of these cases is asked to contact Detective Julio Amador at 538-5729.