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JUST IN: Community activist charged with sexual assault

Elder Julio Basurto speaks during the County Board recessed meeting in 2021 (via Arlington County)

A man well known as a local community activist has been charged with sexual assault.

Julio Basurto, 42, was arrested as part of an investigation into a sexual assault that happened early in the morning of Sunday, May 21, Arlington County police said this afternoon.

According to ACPD, Basurto picked up a woman from outside of a bar in Clarendon, then sexually assaulted her part-way through the ride. He was not working as a rideshare driver at the time, police noted.

Prior to his arrest last week, Basurto was frequently quoted by local news outlets — including ARLnow — as a community activist, often going by his church title: “Elder Julio Basurto.” He was outspoken on local issues from drug overdoses in schools to conditions in affordable apartment complexes.

Basurto worked as an interpreter, including for Arlington Public Schools, according to his LinkedIn profile. He served on an APS advisory committee, received an award from a prominent local nonprofit for his tenant advocacy, and was highlighted by a County Board member on his website’s endorsements page.

Arlington police are now actively investigating whether Basurto might have assaulted others.

“This remains an active criminal investigation possibly related to other assaults in the area,” police said in a press release. “Anyone who may have experienced a similar incident or who has had past inappropriate encounters with this suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s tip line.”

Sources tell ARLnow that Basurto’s personality took a dark turn in recent months, leading to a fallout with another local activist. Basurto has no criminal record in Arlington beyond traffic violations over the past few years, according to court records.

The full ACPD press release is below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is announcing the arrest of a suspect in a sexual assault investigation. Julio Basurto, 42, of Arlington, VA is charged with Abduction and Forcible Sodomy. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 6:40 a.m. on May 21, police met with the adult female victim who reported a sexual assault inside an unknown vehicle. The investigation determined that during the early morning hours, the victim exited a nightlife establishment and was in the 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard when the suspect approached in a black vehicle and the victim entered. During the course of the ride, the suspect sexually assaulted her before she was able to exit the vehicle. The suspect was not operating as a rideshare driver or in a for-hire status.

During the course of the investigation, detectives reviewed evidence and conducted witness interviews. The review resulted in additional information that led detectives to identify the suspect and obtain warrants for his arrest. He was taken into custody without incident on the evening of June 22.

This remains an active criminal investigation possibly related to other assaults in the area. Anyone who may have experienced a similar incident or who has had past inappropriate encounters with this suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s tip line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected]. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). For additional community resources and contact information, visit our website.

Basurto’s most recent Twitter post was of a bible verse.

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