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[whitespace] Cupertino resident arrested on sexual assault charges

Suspect allegedly sexually assaulted and shot at girlfriend

Cupertino--On Nov. 25, at 11:30 a.m., officers from the Santa Clara County sheriff's office arrested Joe Kus of Cupertino on two counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of false imprisonment. Kus, 46, works as a termite exterminator, and was booked into the Santa Clara County main jail after his arrest.

The victim, a 35-year-old woman from Sonoma County, and Kus had allegedly dated for several months before the incident. Authorities say the victim spent the Thanksgiving holiday at Kus' residence, located at 18900 Newsom Ave. According to the Sheriff's Department, the victim spent the night at Kus' residence, but by the next day, Nov. 24, Kus allegedly began to argue with the victim over her relationships with other male acquaintances. Authorities say Kus verbally abused the victim, then later that day sexually assaulted her.

Kus allegedly also brought out a handgun and fired a round in the victim's vicinity. The bullet missed her, and investigators are investigating whether or not Kus intended to actually shoot the victim. If they determine Kus shot at the victim, the state could charge him with attempted murder, otherwise, he would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. According to Sgt. John Hirokawa of the sheriff's office, "There isn't much difference between the two, so we're looking into it, but it's not a real pressing issue."

After firing the shot, Kus allegedly pistol-whipped the victim in the face, then demanded that the victim remain at his residence overnight. Authorities say the victim waited until Kus fell asleep, and left the house at approximately 1 a.m., returning to Sonoma County.

The victim received treatment for her injuries in a San Rafael hospital. She sustained numerous cuts and abrasions to her face and body, requiring 15 stitches for a head wound. The victim's injuries did not require hospitalization, and deputies brought her back to Cupertino to give her statement.

The San Rafael Police Department alerted the Santa Clara County sheriff's office to the situation at 5 a.m. on Nov. 25. Sheriff's deputies then conducted surveillance at Kus' residence on Newsom Avenue. Kus returned home at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 25, and deputies took him into custody without incident. Detectives then procured a search warrant to allow them to examine the interior of Kus' home, where they say they found a semi-automatic handgun and the fired round.

Anyone with further information concerning this incident can contact Sgt. Larry Goodman at (408) 299-2211, or leave a message on the sheriff's office website at www.sccsheriff.org.
Kevin Fayle

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