Cold Case Cracked in 1996 Coral Springs Rape Case

Daniel Chavez in a 2015 arrest and in his latest arrest.

Daniel Chavez in a 2015 arrest and in his latest arrest.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

A cold case has been cracked in connection to a 23-year-old case of rape thanks to the Coral Springs Police Department’s Special Victims Unit.

With the assistance of the Crime Scene Investigations, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals Task Force,  Ruben D. Chavez, 55, was arrested in connection to the sexual battery investigation.

On the night of January 7, 1996, the victim went out with her friend and two of her associates.  While in the bar, the victim advised she was drugged by one of her friend’s associates. 

In the morning hours of January 8, 1996, the victim woke up without her underwear in a hotel room located in the City of Coral Springs.  The victim contacted the police and provided a sworn statement in regards to the sexual battery. 

SVU detectives conducted an investigation, but unfortunately, the evidence recovered was not enough to positively identify the person responsible for the crime.

On April 22, 2019, Special Victims Unit detectives and members of CSI re-evaluated evidence as part of their on-going cold case initiative.  Several items were identified and sent to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab for processing utilizing current technology. Detectives learned that foreign DNA had been detected on the part of the evidence processed by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab.  The DNA profile belonged to Ruben D. Chavez.

Following an extensive investigation, and after obtaining additional evidence, Chavez was successfully taken into custody without incident in the City of Boca Raton by the US Marshals Task Force.  Chavez refused to provide a statement after he was taken into custody. 

Chavez, has prior arrests for possession of Hydromorphone, trafficking, and possession of cocaine, possession of cannabis, fleeing and eluding from law enforcement personnel, carrying a concealed weapon, and several traffic-related arrests.

Due to the persistent efforts of CSPD’s SVU Detectives, members of the CSI Unit, BSO’s Crime Lab, and the US Marshals Task Force, Ruben Chavez was charged with Sexual Battery on a helpless victim.  Chavez was subsequently transported to BSO Main Jail for additional processing.


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