Friday, October 27, 2000

Molester is caught, police say

Man's DNA, serial rapist's to be compared

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A man who police say terrorized his neighborhood by breaking into homes and molesting girls while they slept was arrested after search dogs led officers to his home.

        Michael T. Lagow, 35, of the 7800 block of Millcreek Circle, was arrested Wednesday evening at his home after earlier escaping from police on foot, township police said Thursday.

        His arrest has drawn interest from a task force of federal, state and local police hunting for a serial rapist who has entered Warren and Hamilton County homes in recent years, attacking four children and a 27-year-old woman.

        DNA evidence was collected from Mr. Lagow's home and will be compared with evidence left by the serial rapist.

        Mr. Lagow, a computer executive with Thomas Products in Hamilton, was spotted around 4 a.m. Wednesday by stakeout officers as he tried to force open a garage door at a home on his street, police said.

        The first intrusion in the small Deer Run at Mill Creek community, just off of Beckett Road in Butler County, was reported Sept. 19.

        Since then, police said, Mr. Lagow has entered a number of homes and sexually molested three girls ranging in age from 8 to 17 years. He is accused of entering the girls' rooms and touching them while they slept. None of the girls suffered physical injury.

        “It was a very scary situation, and we made a concentrated effort using extensive surveillance and stakeouts to catch him,” said Acting Police Chief John Bruce.

        Although Mr. Lagow ini tially eluded officers, search dogs tracked him back to his home, Chief Bruce said. A search warrant was obtained to enter his home, where he was arrested and police confiscated evidence.

        Mr. Lagow was charged with one count of gross sexual imposition, a count of sexual imposition, three counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary.

        He remains in custody in the Butler County Jail on $40,300 bond.

        The DNA evidence was immediately shared with Mason detectives on the special task force investigating the serial rapist, who during the last two years has struck in that Warren County city, and in Montgomery and Colerain Township.

        Mason Detective Don Cope said testing for a DNA match from crime scenes of the serial rapist could take four to six weeks.

        Karen Boehle, community manager of Deer Run, said Mr. Lagow, who is unmarried, had lived in the neighborhood for three years without any complaints about him.


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