A man acquitted on attempted rape and kidnapping charges a few years ago recently was accused of raping a different woman.
But the more recent allegation will never be tried in a courtroom because the accused, 28-year-old Joel Guevara, was fatally shot Sunday night in what police described Tuesday as a vigilante killing.
Yovanni Anibal Ramos-Salazar, 31, gunned down Guevara on Sunday night outside the north Baton Rouge apartment complex where both men lived after learning Guevara had been accused of raping one of Ramos-Salazar’s relatives, Baton Rouge police said.
As police kept hunting for Ramos-Salazar on Tuesday, authorities also recalled a warrant issued last week for Guevara’s arrest on the recent rape accusation — an allegation Guevara’s family members insisted Tuesday is untrue.
The recent allegation came about four years after a woman claimed Guevara sexually assaulted her inside his car at a BREC park off Prescott Road. But Guevara told sheriff’s deputies she was a prostitute who propositioned him, and a judge ended up finding him not guilty on charges of attempted rape and second-degree kidnapping.
More recently, Guevara was accused of raping a woman whom he knew well inside a hotel room in January. Police said this allegation spurred the Sunday night shooting of Guevara outside the apartment on Quida Mae Drive, just behind the old Earl K. Long Medical Center.
In an interview with police, the woman said she was cleaning a hotel room on Jan. 11 when Guevara showed up saying he wanted to talk with her, according to a police report.
He told her “he was in love with her and that he was not going to let her go,” the report says.
But when the woman told him she wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship, he forced himself on her, the report says. The woman told police she fought back but couldn’t prevent the rape.
In the days and weeks after the incident in the hotel room, Guevara sent the woman text messages indicating he was spying on her, the report says, while also suggesting that if she told anyone about what happened, “many people in El Salvador will cry.”
The woman also was from El Salvador.
Police issued the warrant for Guevara’s arrest Thursday, the same day a DNA analysis determined he “was not excluded as the donor of the DNA profile” collected as evidence from the rape victim, the report says.
Before authorities could arrest him, though, Ramos-Salazar struck, police said.
Guevara died outside his apartment Sunday night after being shot.
A woman who asked not to be identified, but who was speaking on behalf of Guevara’s friends and family members, said the recent accusation of rape was not true.
She also provided more details of the events leading up to Guevara’s death Sunday night.
He and his girlfriend, Daisy Vigil, were unloading groceries purchased at Walmart when Ramos-Salazar, standing on a staircase outside the apartment, started talking to Guevara, the family spokeswoman said.
Ramos-Salazar soon walked down the stairs and shook Guevara’s hand, the woman said.
The two were considered good friends.
But when Guevara turned around during the conversation, Ramos-Salazar opened fire, the woman said, striking Guevara multiple times.
Ramos-Salazar was last seen driving a silver 2000 Toyota Tundra pickup with a Louisiana license plate X0796455.
Police ask anyone with information about Ramos-Salazar’s whereabouts to call the Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.
Editor's note: The photo in this story has been corrected to note it shows Yovanni Anibal Ramos-Salazar.