Sex offender arrested for rape

A parolee and convicted sex offender is back behind bars after a DNA test tied him to a July 2006 rape that occurred in Merced.

Officers with the Merced Police Department arrested suspect Paul Mike Carter, 32, at 475 E. Vassar Ave. home after staff at the FBI's Combined DNA Index System informed detectives his DNA matched evidence collected from the rape crime scene, according to Cmdr. Tom Martin.

"This guy is a sexual predator and the fact that he is off the street is huge," Martin said. Martin said police are currently investing whether Carter could possibly be tied to other crimes.

Carter was arrested for a rape that occurred around 3 a.m. in an apartment on the 3100 block of College Avenue on July 17, 2006.

The victim was a 28-year-old woman who was asleep before she was attacked and sexually assaulted by Carter.

The woman was not injured and was able to provide police investigators with enough information to help police create a rough sketch of the suspect.

Investigators were able to obtain Carter's DNA because he submitted a DNA sample during a recent stint in prison -- for another sexual assault. Carter was arrested by the Atwater Police on Sept. 21, 2006, for a sexual attack on a victim under 16 years old.

He was convicted on that charge Dec. 7, 2006, and sent to prison.

After he entered the California Department of Corrections, his DNA was obtained and entered into the Combined DNA Index System.

He was released from prison in June and was placed on a GPS monitoring system that allows parole agents to track his whereabouts. Carter remained at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at 209-385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.