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Serial Rapist Fear In City

Police believe a serial rapist has attacked at least four women in Canberra.
ACT Police Deputy Chief Shane Connelly said today three women had been attacked since July last year and another woman who was raped in 2002 was also believed to be one of the man's victims.
All the attacks have been in Canberra's northern suburbs, but police fear the rapist is spreading his net further, after a series of thefts appeared to fit his modus operandi.
"What we have is a series of sexual offences where there is definitive links," Mr Connelly said.
The rapist attacked victims in suburban O'Connor on July 11, 2005, Macquarie on December 5, and Cook on January 4 this year.
Police have connected him to a further rape in Macquarie on September 2, 2002.
"I believe that the last sexual assault was on January 4 but there has been incidents that have occurred since that date where we believe there could be a connection, where no sexual assault was committed but other behaviour would indicate a consistency," Mr Connolly said.
Mr Connelly said the rapist was indiscriminate and had attacked young and older women.
He stalks his prey, often watching where they live before pouncing between the hours of 11pm and 4am.
"Certainly we believe he may use bike paths and footpaths and public spaces to observe," he said.
"There is an element of planning in what he does.
"People have been on the premises when the attacks have occurred and other people have not been aware."
Descriptions were sketchy but Mr Connelly said he was likely to live in Canberra and was average in height and build.
"He is Caucasian," he said.
"On the occasions he has spoken, he has spoken with an Australian accent."
The rapist was also believed to be a smoker and carried a weapon but Mr Connelly would not say what kind.
Police were treating the search for the rapist as a top priority, assigning more than 20 officers and detectives at the operation.
"There are more than 300,000 pairs of eyes and ears in this town," he said. "We want everyone looking for this offender and assisting police."

AAP (22-02-2006)
Jonathan Granger


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