Sterling man arrested in 2001 sexual assault case

Authorities say DNA from the sexual assault kit matched the man’s DNA profile

Sterling man arrested in 2001 sexual assault case

A man wanted for a sexual assault that occurred near Sterling 18 years ago is being extradited to Alaska after authorities said they matched his DNA to a sexual assault kit from the case.

Carmen Daniel Perzechino Jr., 57, was indicted on March 13 of this year by a Kenai grand jury on two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of kidnapping for crimes allegedly committed on Jan. 20, 2001. Perzechino is accused of raping a woman in his van and threatening to kill her, according to an affidavit filed March 8, 2019 at the Kenai Courthouse. The victim allegedly escaped after jumping out of Perzechino’s van while on the Sterling Highway. At the time of the initial investigation, State Troopers attempted to locate a suspect or vehicle matching the description provided by the victim but were unsuccessful, and the case was closed in January of 2002.

The recent indictment came after the case’s sexual assault kit was tested as part of the State Troopers Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), according to a Thursday release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

Authorities said DNA in the kit matched a known DNA profile for Perzechino in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) — a national database of DNA profiles from known individuals and unknown suspects.

This is the first arrest resulting from SAKI investigations.

In 2017, a statewide inventory found more than 3,000 sexual assault kits from nearly 50 police agencies in Alaska that had never been submitted to the Crime Lab for DNA analysis. These kits were collected from investigations spanning three decades.

Between 2016 and 2017, the Department of Public Safety was awarded $1.5 million in federal SAKI funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to analyze these untested kits.

“This case demonstrates why SAKI is so important,” DPS Commissioner Amanda Price said in Thursday’s release. “We owe it to survivors of crimes like this to investigate new leads and follow through on these cases. I am very proud of what SAKI is accomplishing and the justice it hopefully provides to survivors across Alaska.”

Authorities believe Perzechino left the United States early last February after troopers contacted him as part of their renewed investigation into the 2001 sexual assault case. Investigators contacted Perzechino by phone on Jan. 26, 2019, according to the March 8 affidavit. During the phone interview, Perzechino allegedly admitted to owning a van matching the description given but denied the charges of sexual assault.

The Philippine News Agency reported that Perzechino was arrested in the Philippines on April 4 by members of the Bureau of Immigration Fugitive Search Unit at an apartment in Angeles City, Pampanga. Perzechino was extradited to Seattle from the Philippines in August where he appeared in front of a Washington judge and waived extradition to Alaska.

Perzechino is set to be arraigned by an Alaska judge upon his return to the state.

For more information about the SAKI, visit

More in News

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Snow falls atop the Central Peninsula Diabetes Center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. The office opened in October, but a grand opening was held this week. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital adds Diabetes Center

The center has been seeing patients since October and held a grand opening Monday

Gary Hollier pulls a sockeye salmon from a set gillnet at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Findings from pilot setnet fishery study inconclusive

The study sought to see whether shorter nets could selectively catch sockeye salmon while allowing king salmon to pass below

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kenai Peninsula COVID-19 case rate continues to climb

State reports three consecutive week-over-week increases to new high

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday, in Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

The one-term lawmaker said collaboration between stakeholders has helped produce wins for Alaska’s fisheries and the state’s economy

From left: Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, and Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, speak during an at-ease on debate on education legislation on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

The governor’s office announced Dunleavy will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation

Most Read