October 14, 2011 | 11:09am
On a June morning in 2007, a man broke into his neighbor's apartment in Santa Ana,grabbed her by the neck to wake her up, put a knife to her neck and then sexually assaulted her.
After the woman warned that her family would arrive soon, the man fled the scene. A few minutes later the Santa Ana Police Department showed up and collected DNA from the scene, according to a district attorney's press release about the sexual assault.
Officials ran the DNA through local and national databases and didn't get any hits. So, the case went cold -- until earlier this year.
In February, Silvano Analco Alvarez
, 31, was charged with a misdemeanor hit and run. As part of his plea agreement in that case, he submitted a DNA sample, which was entered into several databases.
Finally, a hit in the 2007 sexual assault: Alvarez. An investigation followed and Santa Ana officers arrested him on Wednesday.
Alvarez allegedly grabbed the woman's shoulders and climbed on top of her as he instructed her to get naked and then kissed her neck and groped her breasts. That's when the woman, who didn't know Alvarez, said her family was on their way home. Alvarez got spooked and ran away.
Alvarez faces a felony charge of assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary with a sentencing enhancement for brandishing a knife during the sexual assault, according to the DA's press release.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison and is being held on $1 million bail.