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Santa Rosa Rape Suspect to be Arraigned Thursday

Twenty-Year-Old Michael Augustine Byrnes was arrested Tuesday in Santa Rosa.

By Bay City News Service

A man suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl in a Santa Rosa park in September will be arraigned Thursday in Sonoma County Superior Court.

Michael Augustine Byrnes, 20, was arrested Tuesday in Santa Rosa on suspicion of forcible rape, digital penetration and oral copulation, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Michael Clark said. DNA found during a sexual assault examination of the victim was processed through the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, and Byrnes was identified as a suspect, Clark said.

The crime occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 6. The victim, who lives in Santa Rosa, asked a man in Julliard Park if she could use his cell phone to arrange a ride home, Sgt. David Linscomb said. The man briefly gave her his cellphone, then grabbed her, dragged her under a tree, removed her clothing and raped her, Linscomb said.

A group of young men called out to the suspect and asked what he was doing, and the suspect then fled, Linscomb said. The girl walked to the Roxy Theater and was able to call for a ride, Linscomb said. Byrnes, a Santa Rosa resident, is being held in Sonoma County Jail on $100,000 bail. He will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

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