A 36-year-old Baltimore County man who was on parole for rape has been charged in the recent series of sexual attacks in the Randallstown and Pikesville areas, according to Baltimore County police.
Ronald Thomas Jefferson of the 9900 block of Hoyt Circle in Randallstown was arrested about 3 p.m. Sunday as he was driving on Liberty Road, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a police spokesman.
Sergeant Doarnberger said that Jefferson, a maintenance employee at Villa Julie College, was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape, two counts of burglary, two counts of breaking and entering and assault and battery.
Jefferson was sent to the Baltimore County Detention Center to await trial after he was denied bail yesterday during a hearing in Towson District Court, police said.
Police had been searching for a suspect in the series of five sexual attacks since Sept. 4, when a 25-year-old woman was assaulted by a man as she was about to enter her apartment. In that attack and those that followed, the assailant apparently chose his victims at food markets and then followed them home, where he made sure they were alone before attacking them at knifepoint, according to police.
Police said a 75-year-old woman was sexually assaulted when she arrived home from grocery shopping Sept. 11.
Then, last week, the same man was believed to have attacked three women.
Last Tuesday, a 61-year-old woman reported she was raped by a man who got in her home on the pretense of using the telephone. She had just gotten home from a convenience store.
Two days later, a 64-year-old Randallstown woman was attacked when she arrived home from a shopping trip, and on Saturday a 71-year-old woman reported that she also had been raped the previous Thursday as she arrived at her Pikesville home with groceries. Her invalid husband was in the house at the time and was unaware of the attack.
Sergeant Doarnberger said police were able to identify the suspect by a maintenance uniform he allegedly wore during one of the five attacks and through physical evidence recovered during another. Jefferson is charged with four attacks, Sergeant Doarnberger said. The fifth remains under investigation, he said.
Jefferson was convicted in 1987 of raping a 54-year-old woman at knifepoint in Druid Hill Park, according to police records. Police said he had picked up the victim on Pennsylvania Avenue and offered to drive her to a bus stop. Instead he drove to the park and raped her at knifepoint.
Jefferson was sentenced to a four-year prison term, but was paroled on July 6, 1990, and placed on intensive supervision, according to state corrections officials. They said he had been satisfactorily completing his parole obligations and last attended a session with a parole agent Thursday -- the day he is accused of committing the two latest rapes, officials said.
A spokeswoman at Villa Julie College said college officials were unaware of the suspect's background when they hired him about a year ago, and that they did run some checks that included reports from prior employers.
He has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him, the spokeswoman said.