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Serial Rapist 'Offered Lifts' To Women

A serial rapist offered lifts in his car to young women and then sexually assaulted them at secluded locations, South Australian Police said today.
The man, 33, arrested in Adelaide yesterday, is alleged to have raped five women over a seven-year period from 1997. He was charged with the rapes after his DNA was tested during investigations into an unrelated matter, police said.
The accused rapist, from Klemzig in north-eastern Adelaide, was also charged with three counts of non-aggravated serious criminal trespass and one count of attempted serious criminal trespass.
The man, whose identity has been suppressed, did not enter a plea to any of the charges in Adelaide Magistrates Court today, and was remanded in custody to answer the charges in June.
He was arrested at his home about 7pm CST yesterday, SA Police Superintendent Grant Stevens said.
"The person was picking up women in the central business district and other parts of Adelaide, and the sexual assaults were occurring after he picked up these women," Supt Stevens said.
DNA testing would be the key to the case, he said.
"The DNA was obtained as a result of a relatively minor, unrelated matter," Supt Stevens said.
All the alleged offences occurred between 1997 and 2004.

AAP (12-4-2005)

DNA 'Links' 7-Year Trail Of Rape Cases

A MAN who allegedly preyed on Adelaide women over a seven-year period has been arrested and charged with five rapes.
The man, 33, from the northeastern suburbs, allegedly targeted the women by offering them a lift when they were either walking or waiting for a taxi.
After accepting the offer, they allegedly were driven to a secluded location and sexually assaulted.
Sexual Crime Investigation Branch detectives made the break- through in the long-running case after the man's DNA was taken in connection with another matter.
Once on the Forensic Science Centre database, his profile was linked to five unsolved rape cases between 1987 and 2004 - all committed by the same offender.
The man also has been charged over three break-ins and one attempted break-in.
He was arrested at his home on Monday night and then was taken to the city watch house, where he was charged.
He appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court late yesterday.
The officer in charge of the Sexual Crime Investigation Branch, Super- intendent Grant Stevens, yesterday said the victims in each case were relieved at the man's arrest.
"The women were in a position Where they accepted a lift from a person and as a result of having done so were sexually assaulted," he said.
"Certainly, there was a significant degree of trauma for those victims as a result. The victims are obviously extremely relieved that we have been able to take this action.
"However, they are also appreciative that this is only one small step in the judicial process and there is some distance to go."
Supt Stevens said the use of DNA evidence was crucial to the arrest.
"Traditionally, these offence have been very difficult to solve. It is because of the developments in DNA technology that we have been able to make these sorts of inroads to historical investigations," he said.
"It is an indicator that we don't give up on these sorts of things as well. These matters remain open until there is an opportunity to progress them further."
In early February, Supt Stevens announced police had linked five rapes using DNA and the offender's method of selecting his victims.
At the time, detectives said they believed the man might have approached other women over the past two years, particularly in the city.
"We would certainly still put out that call for anybody who has information about these offences or who has information about similar circumstances to make contact with us to see if there is any link between them," Supt Stevens said yesterday.

Adelaide Advertiser (13-4-2005)
Nigel Hunt

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