Rapist may have struck twice in Ellicott City area, police say Similarities include that both victims were Asian

February 09, 1997|By Jill Hudson | Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF

Howard County police say the man who raped a 38-year-old Ellicott City woman at knifepoint Wednesday night may have sexually assaulted another woman 10 months earlier.

An investigation into the 65 rape cases reported in Howard County between 1995 and 1996 led police to discover that last week's assault was similar to one reported in the Pine Orchards area of Ellicott City in April, police said Friday.

The victims in both incidents were Asian women who lived within five to seven miles of one another, said Sgt. Steven Keller, a police spokesman, adding that the women gave police similar descriptions of their assailant.

He also noted that there were similarities in the rapist's method of operation, but declined to provide details that he said might jeopardize the investigations.

The victim who was attacked in April has since left the area, Keller said.

"All women should be cautious, but we have a situation where two Asian women have been targeted," Keller said. "It's certainly possible that the same man commited the rapes."

Wednesday's sexual assault shocked residents of the quiet Wheatfields neighborhood located just south of the Long Gate Center on Route 103.

The woman who was raped last week told police that a man broke into her townhouse about 9 p.m., forced her into her bedroom at knifepoint and then assaulted her. He fled about two hours later. The woman was taken to Howard County General Hospital for an examination, police said.

Police describe the attacker as a white male with a medium to heavy build, 6 feet tall and wearing a ski mask, gloves, blue jeans and a light-colored shirt.

Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and an indictment. Police are asking that people call 410-313-3200.

Pub Date: 2/09/97

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