Ex-Phoenix Fire Dept. employee accused of sexual assault

Police say new technology helped them create a composite sketch that led them to a sexual assault suspect. FOX 10's Nicole Garcia has the details.

- Just days after a woman reported that she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Glendale, police make an arrest in the case.

The suspect? 52-year-old Jeffrey Wilson, who reportedly used to work for the Phoenix Fire Department.

Investigators say on September 25th, Wilson was driving a red, newer-model four-door sedan when he spotted the victim, parked his car and began following her on foot. Wilson allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair, pointed a handgun at her and sexually assaulted her under the bridge near 91st Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Wilson was booked on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  On Wednesday, he made his first appearance in court -- where he maintained his innocence.

"I'm going to lose my retirement and my benefits.. everything if I don't get out in the next two days.. and I didn't do this," said Wilson.

"That's something you should have considered long before now. You need to talk to your attorney.. as I said, we have received a lot of information from the police and that information, quite frankly, is overwhelming in this court's opinion," said the judge.

After the assault, Glendale Police released a sketch of the suspect and they say that sketch was vital in making an arrest in the case.  But this composite was not made in the traditional way.  GPD is now using some new technology.

It wasn't long after police released the sketch of the suspect that the tips came rolling in.

Take a look at how spot-on the victim-generated sketch is, compared to the actual mug shot of the suspect.

The 19-year-old victim came up with composite, using a design system called SketchCop Facette.  It's an interactive computer program, which provides a palette of hundreds of different identification markers that victims can browse and choose from.

"It allows the victim to go in and use different characteristics.. different eyes and ears and different nose and that really is the best way to do it," said GPD's Tiffany Smith.

Detectives installed the program on their laptop computers, which they are able to take directly to the victims.

The Glendale Police Department is the only department in the state that uses the SketchCop Facette program. They've been using it for the past five years and say the sketches are more accurate than ever.

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