Friday, September 24, 1999

Landen rape not by serial rapist, DNA proves




BY SHEILA McLAUGHLIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Aug. 28 rape of a 45-year-old Landen woman was not linked to a serial rapist blamed for three assaults in nearby Mason.

        Warren County Sheriff Tom Ariss said Thursday that DNA evidence from the August attack did not match samples in the other rape cases, which occurred over the past 17 months.

        That doesn't mean women should let their guard down, cautioned Prosecutor Tim Oliver, a member of a task force formed to investigate a string of rapes and attempted assaults in Warren County and northeastern Hamilton County.

        The Landen woman told detectives a man who apparently broke into her Millbank Row residence attacked her as she slept about 5 a.m. She could not describe the man because it was dark and the suspect covered her face.

        “It's still under investigation. Nothing has changed other than the fact that we are investigating it separately now,” said Sheriff's Lt. Jerry Mays.

        Police have no suspect in the Landen assault or the other cases, including the July rape of a 6-year-old girl in the Winds subdivision in Montgomery.

        Members of the task force have refused to say whether the DNA sample from that assault matched evidence in the Mason attacks, which occurred in the same neighborhood and were linked to the same unknown suspect through DNA testing.

        The latest occurred April 14 against a 27-year-old single mother asleep in her home on Butler-Warren Road. A 12-year-old girl was raped in her backyard on Brookcrest Drive in July 1998; a 14-year-old was attacked in her home on Essex Drive three months earlier.

        The attacker in the Mason cases has been described as a white man in his mid- to late 30s, 5-foot-10, with blue eyes and a red moustache. He wore a ski mask when committing the crimes.

       



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