Newark man appears in court accused of assaulting woman, stalking women at work with intent to commit rape

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Matt Caruso, 37, the man charged with trying to use a stun gun on a Walnut Creek woman with the intent to rape her two weeks ago, appeared in court Tuesday to plead not guilty.

New information has surfaced in what police are calling a "scary" case as they continue their investigation. A judge issued protective orders for three women, three Jane Does, who the DA's office says Caruso May have intended to assault. He met them all on the job.

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Prosecutors claim he was a copy machine repairman in East Bay offices and targeted the women.

Caruso appeared before Judge David Goldstein in Martinez Tuesday morning. He pleaded not guilty to three charges including attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to commit rape.

Scott Alonso with the Contra Costa County DA's office said, "There are multiple victims involved. The investigation is still ongoing. Now we've charged for 'Jane Doe 1', but we can always add additional criminal charges."

On March 26, Caruso is accused of attacking Jane Doe 1 outside her Walnut Creek apartment building as she left for work. Prosecutors say he pointed his stun gun at her hip but the Taser malfunctioned. As the woman dropped her bags, the DA's office says he tripped over her bags and fell into the bushes as she ran away. He dropped his cell phone as he escaped. That cell phone prompted investigators to zero in on Caruso along with a bag retrieved from a dumpster.

Walnut Creek police described it as a rape and kidnapping kit that included ties and bondage.

Caruso was arrested at his home in Newark the next day. Lieutenant Tracy Reese with Walnut Creek police said there could be more victims.

"We have received phone calls from women throughout the Bay Area who worked with Caruso in the past to see if they potentially had been targeted by him."

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They are seeking to reassure the public that the only women involved so far are the three Jane Does covered by the protective orders issued in court Tuesday.

Alonso said, "We feel like due to the threat of public safety, and the fact that there are multiple potential victims involved, we want to protect the public and protect those Jane Does and that's why we're going to be asking for no bail."

That no bail hearing is set for April 18.

Caruso is being held in a jail in Martinez with bail set at $1.1 million.

The police department is culling through all the evidence they collected so far. The DA's office says they found child pornography on one of Caruso's electronic devices that were confiscated.

Caruso's attorney declined to comment on the case.
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