Man attempts to sexually assault woman at California church

LOS ANGELES -- A man was arrested days after he attempted to sexually assault a woman at a church in Boyle Heights, California, according to authorities.

Los Angeles police said 50-year-old James Melendez tried to sexually assault a church volunteer in the sacristy room at Resurrection Catholic Church in the 3300 block of Opal Street on Saturday.

The woman was able to fight off Melendez and he ran away, investigators said.

Melendez was captured on Tuesday and booked on assault with the intent to commit sexual assault. He was being held on $100,000 bail.

"For somebody to go onto a church property and physically attack a female, that's unheard of," Officer Tony Im with the Los Angeles Police Department said. "This kind of dangerous act, we believe that he could be a suspect in other cases."

Authorities said they believed there may be more witnesses and other possible victims.

If you have any information that could aid detectives in their investigation, or believe you may be a victim of Melendez, you were urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollenbeck Area Detectives-Sex Crimes Detail at (323) 342-8995.
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