- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Police using DNA evidence have linked a rape earlier this month to four others in the area dating back six years, authorities said.
Charlottesville police Chief Timothy J. Longo said authorities are also trying to determine whether the same rapist is responsible for six other assaults on women in the University of Virginia area since the beginning of the fall semester.
"His level of violence is escalating," Chief Longo said Friday at a news conference in which he urged residents and students to be alert.
Police have no suspects, but Chief Longo said they are developing a behavior profile for the rapist based on similarities at the crime scenes. He said, for instance, that all of the attacks have involved a blow to the head.
Physical descriptions have varied, but the most recent victim told police her assailant was black, about 6 feet tall, with a medium complexion and weighing about 200 pounds.
In the latest attack, police said a Charlottesville woman was sexually assaulted and beaten by an intruder in her home about 9 a.m. Nov. 11.
DNA evidence from the scene was compared to samples from other unsolved crimes in a databank at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, with four matches arising:
A Feb. 11, 1997, rape of a woman returning to her hotel room in Waynesboro about 11 p.m.
A June 12, 1999, rape of a Charlottesville women in her home near the university about 11:30 p.m.
An April 15, 2000, rape of a UVa. student in her bedroom at 2 a.m. by an intruder who police believe forced open a window.
A May 3, 2000, attempted rape of a UVa. student who was beaten up in a parking lot but escaped.
Chief Longo said, in addition, police are looking at six other attacks around the university area this fall to see whether they are related. Five of the victims were university students, and one was employed by UVa.
In two of these cases, Charlottesville police Capt. J.E. Harding said the culprit scaled the sides of buildings to gain access to third-story apartments through unlocked doors or windows.
UVa. police have also warned students through an e-mail this week to be more aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to police.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 434/977-4000.


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