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Police release sketch in sexual-assault cases

By Michael Davis and

Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Clayton County Police, on Tuesday, released a sketch of a man wanted for questioning in connection with a series of sexual assaults that have taken place at area apartment complexes over the past several months.

In two of those assaults, the victims were raped, police said.

Police said the man wanted for questioning was seen with another, unidentified, black male, using one of the victims' ATM card.

The man in the sketch is described as black, approximately 5 feet, 7 inches tall, in his early 20s and having a medium complexion.

Clayton Police are attributing the series of sexual assaults, which have occurred since December, to one suspect. Seven assaults have been reported at apartment complexes in Morrow, Jonesboro, Stockbridge and College Park over the past several months, according to Clayton County Police Detective James Eskew, the lead investigator in the case.

In the most recent case, a woman reported being raped Aug. 22, at The Woods Apartments in College Park.

"We have reviewed the specific incidents, and many strong similarities occurred in each of the cases," Eskew said in a recent interview. "I'm not going to call it a serial rapist," he said. "I will call him a serial burglar that commits sexual assault, and a serial sexual assaulter."

The unknown suspect in the case, Eskew said, always concealed his face in some way, either with a ski mask, or a T-shirt pulled over his nose, and also wore gloves.

"This individual is a burglar, who enters apartment complexes on a ground floor apartment," Eskew said. "In some of these cases, he has found an unlocked door and taken advantage of that. He seems to be very confident in entering your residence without you knowing it."

Eskew said each of the victims has been female. In some cases, he said, the victims were alone, and in others, adult males or children have been in the home.

The attacker was carrying a handgun in some of the assaults, according to Officer Kevin Hughes, a Clayton County Police Department spokesman.

In at least one of the assaults, according to Eskew, "He made threats that he would kill everybody, if anybody woke up."

Eskew said the attacker has forced victims from their bedrooms into the bathroom, and in some cases, made them disrobe and place their hands against the wall, then fondled or raped them.

In more than one of the attacks, the suspect committed a lewd act, then made the victims "clean themselves up," according to Hughes.

"He orders his victims to the shower, and stands present to make sure they're showering," Eskew said. He said the man presumably insists that the victim take a shower to avoid leaving any evidence, such as DNA, behind.

Since the series of assaults has been reported, residents have been urged to lock their windows and doors, be aware of their surroundings, and report any suspicious activity to police.

Anyone having contact with the individual shown in the sketch released by police is asked to call 911.