Approximately 18 months ago, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office received notification from a woman who said she had been raped.
The alleged victim did not choose to file a report about the incident.
The following August, another woman informed the police that she had been sexually assaulted, and she followed through with the report.
Over the next few months, the authorities said several more women came forward with rape allegations.
According to reports, the sheriff’s office spotted many consistencies in the stories the women shared about their assaults. They believed the suspect was a serial rapist, and they opened an investigation.
The man reportedly used social media apps to find his victims and set up personal encounters.
When meeting the women, in some cases the suspect wore a mask to conceal his face, and during other alleged encounters he reportedly used weapons such as a gun or a knife to overpower them. The authorities learned that some of the potential alleged victims got away from the man before they were assaulted, but most of them were assaulted.
The police gathered enough information to lead them to believe they knew when the alleged rapist was going to try to attack another victim, and they started to search for the man.
When the deputies noticed someone walking down the street that they believed resembled the suspect, they approached him. He was allegedly carrying a mask, a knife, and a gun.
The suspect was taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
He is currently being held in lieu of a $250,000 bond.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a sexual offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.