Evidence not enough to keep rape suspect - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Evidence not enough to keep rape suspect

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Ryan Festa; Police sketch Ryan Festa; Police sketch
PHOENIX -

Police said 22-year-old Ryan Festa turned himself in after a composite sketch of a Scottsdale rape suspect was released Thursday, but a judge let him go.

"When he turned himself in, he invoked his right to remain silent, so there were not confessions. Reading between the lines, I think the only evidence police had was the address where he lived and the composite sketch and they felt that was enough to arrest him," said Monica Lindstrom.

Lindstrom, a valley defense attorney, former prosecutor and a judge pro tem, said the courts need more.

Lindstrom said the sketch, that one of the victims helped police with, is not enough.

She noted Festa was known by women in the apartment complex, where a sexual assault took place, as creepy.

She said there are studies on witness and victim identification.

"If they already have that idea of him in their mind and it's the same height build as the person [who] assaulted them, they could easily morph that together," said Lindstrom. "They might have no idea they're actually doing that, and I'm not saying they are, but if this were to go to trial, I wouldn't be surprised if an expert came in to talk about identification and witness and victim testimony about identification."

Police now hope DNA will identify the suspect or suspects.

"Right now we know the police arrested him because they have to. They had enough evidence for their standard to arrest him but the judge didn't have enough evidence yet," said Lindstrom. If that DNA evidence doesn't come back positive, and nothing else pops up, there's nothing to show he did it, so it is innocent until proven guilty."

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