A man wanted on a rape charge dating to 2018 was taken into custody after police responded to a disturbance between roommates, according to court documents.

Jose Misael Escobar, 23, was taken into custody shortly after Frederick police responded at 12:36 a.m. Friday to a disturbance at his home in the 1300 block of Motter Avenue. Several of Escobar’s roommates told officers he had left in a vehicle he did not have permission to drive after shoving a woman, the documents state. A city officer spotted the vehicle in question at West Patrick Street and Baughmans Lane, and pulled Escobar over in the 1000 block of West Patrick a short time later, the documents state.

In addition to arresting Escobar on suspicion of second-degree assault and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, police learned that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued in July 2018 on charges of second-degree rape and two counts each of third-degree sex offense and second-degree assault, according to the documents.

The older charges date back to an incident that took place sometime in the late fall or early winter of 2017 that police did not hear about until the alleged victim, a 14-year-old girl, came forward in May 2018, the documents state.

According to the statement of facts in that case, the girl met Escobar, who told her he was 17 at the time, on social media and the two agreed to meet. Escobar took the girl to a room he was renting and forced himself on her despite her objections, according to the documents. The two met again about two weeks later and Escobar again sexually assaulted the girl after threatening to tell her family about them, according to the girl’s account to police.

Attempts were made to get in touch with Escobar through former roommates and his current girlfriend, but Escobar eluded police until his arrest Friday in the unrelated assault case.

Although Judge Earl W. Bartgis Jr. set Escobar’s bail at $5,000 in his most recent assault case at a hearing Monday, Bartgis withheld bail in the rape case against him, according to court records. Escobar remained in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center as of Monday afternoon awaiting future court dates.

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Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

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