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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Embargoed until: Cranston Police Department
February 28, 2011, 10:00am Fairfax County Police Department
FBI, Washington Field Office
Leesburg Police Department
New Haven Police Department
Prince George’s County Police Department
Prince William County Police Department
Serial Rapist Investigation Expands to Digital Billboards on the East Coast
FBI and Local Law Enforcement Seek Public’s Assistance
Today, the FBI, with Fairfax County, Prince William County, Prince George’s County, Leesburg, New Haven, and Cranston Police Departments launched a digital billboard campaign to assist in a serial rape investigation involving 12 sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults between 1997 and 2009 by the same offender. Each of these assaults is linked by DNA.
Digital billboards featuring composite sketches of the offender are now running in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia, where the attacks and attempts have occurred as well as neighboring states, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Since the start of the FBI’s digital billboard partnership at least 39 cases have been solved as a direct result from tips from the public. “These billboards give each local police departments, and the FBI, an added edge to identifying, locating and apprehending the subject,” said Ronald Hosko, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division, FBI, Washington Field Office. “The public is the most important tool law enforcement has for solving crime.”
Fairfax County Police Department has launched a dedicated website, www.EastCoastRapist.com, which provides composites and additional description of the offender. “We have the DNA linking the offender, but we need someone to recognize and identify him,” said John Kelly, Detective with the Fairfax County Police Department.
Victims in the assaults have been black, white and Hispanic females. The offender generally approaches the victims outdoors on foot and threatens them with a weapon; usually a knife or a handgun. In two of the earliest assaults, the offender approached the victims on a bike. The offender sometimes wears a black mask or hooded sweatshirt to conceal his face. After approaching the victim, the offender asks the victim for money, giving the victim the impression that she is being robbed, but does not take anything after the assault is over. The dates and locations of these assaults are:
Feb. 19, 1997 Forestville, MD
Aug. 20, 1997 Suitland, MD
July 3, 1997 Temple Hills, MD
Jun.19, 1999 Alexandria, VA
Jan. 13, 2000 Alexandria, VA
Nov. 20, 2000 Alexandria, VA
May 24, 2001 Leesburg, VA
Aug. 16, 2001 Temple Hills, MD
Dec. 28, 2001 Alexandria, VA
Nov. 28, 2006 Cranston, RI
Jan. 10, 2007 New Haven, CT
Oct. 31, 2009 Woodbridge, VA
Prince George’s County Police Department is offering up to a $25,000 reward for information related to this investigation. Law enforcement agencies involved are asking that anyone who may have knowledge of this subject contact the Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS/ 8477.