Rape suspect has AIDS virus, documents say Attempted murder alleged in attacks

June 17, 1998|By Peter Hermann and Richard Irwin | Peter Hermann and Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police will interview more alleged victims next week, and could file additional attempted murder charges against a serial rape suspect who may have infected up to three women with the AIDS virus.

Ronald Andre Jackson Sr., 49, is being held without bail at the Central Booking and Intake Center, facing 10 charges, including attempted murder, rape and kidnapping in a series of attacks that occurred in the same vacant rowhouse in West Baltimore.

Jackson's cousin said yesterday that police have the wrong man. "I know he was here with me when the incidents occurred," said Dale Jones, 39, who lives with the suspect in the 800 block of W. Saratoga St. "I have to let the police do what they have to do, but they know they don't have the right guy."

On Sunday, police said they had a woman who was raped at knifepoint on May 30 view a photo lineup. "That's him, that's him. I'll never forget that face," the woman said of Jackson, according to court documents.

Residents who live near the rowhouse in the 1300 block of N. Calhoun St. said they recognized the suspect from a composite sketch that had been posted in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

Neighbors had told police they had seen the suspect, who walked with a limp, but did not know who he was.

Police said someone called 911 Saturday morning and told an operator, "I think we see the rape suspect" walking on North Fremont Avenue.

Three officers arrested him a few minutes later at West Mulberry and North Schroeder streets, and charged him with drug possession for a small amount of heroin they reported finding in his pants pocket.

Jones said police arrested Jackson because of his limp. "They were under a lot of pressure," Jones said. "It would be hard for him to walk to that area as frequently as they say he did. He don't go out because his leg is messed up."

Police said Jackson also is suspected of raping women on May 13 and June 9, and in the attempted rape of a woman on June 11 -- all at the same vacant rowhouse that city work crews boarded up two days after the last attack.

Investigators said the women were either lured or dragged into an open back door of the house.

The court records also say that the suspect "is HIV positive and has known this for the past 13 plus years." The documents said protection was not used in the May 30 attack, putting the victim "intentionally in a life-threatening situation."

That prompted police to file the attempted murder charge. Police said that the victims were being tested for the AIDS virus, but the results are not available.

Jones said he does not know how his cousin contracted the AIDS virus.

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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