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State College Police Say DNA Evidence Links Four Rape Cases Over Seven Years

State College Police said on Friday that DNA evidence from a 2017 rape investigation links the case with three other open cases from 2010 and 2011.

The Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab this week reported that results of DNA testing from the 2017 case found the suspect’s DNA profile is consistent with the profile developed in the earlier cases. The lab had previously determined that the suspect in the 2010 and 2011 cases was the same person.

The alleged rapes occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 2010; Jan. 28, 2011; April 3, 2011; and July 16, 2017.

Police said that in each of the three earlier cases, the victim was a white female Penn State student under the age of 21. Each was intoxicated and walking alone in neighborhoods adjacent to downtown State College. All three sustained facial injuries during the rape.

According to a 2012 report, the three assaults occurred in the northern section of the Highlands neighborhood.

The only description provided to police was that the suspect was a white male. Police said in 2012 that the assailant likely committed other, unreported sexual assaults or rape and ‘is likely to continue to commit these crimes if not identified and arrested.’ 

In the July 2017 case, a white female reported she was approached at about 1:40 a.m. by a white male with an accent who pushed her into bushes near South Atherton Street and raped her.

All four investigations remain active and police said several persons of interest have been eliminated during the course of the investigation.

Anyone who may have information is urged to contact State College police at (814) 234-7150, by email or by submitting an anonymous tip through the department’s website.

‘The State College Police Department is also urging residents and students to remain vigilant especially in early mornings hours,’ a department news release stated. ‘It is always safer to walk in groups or pairs along lighted sidewalks and roadways.  The public is also encouraged to immediately report any observed suspicious activity to the police.’