Howard Co. man charged in 3 sex assaults on Arundel campus

March 17, 2010|By Justin Fenton and Nicole Fuller | Baltimore Sun reporters

A 43-year-old former Constellation Energy manager from Howard County has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting at least three women since October on Anne Arundel Community College's main campus in Arnold.

In each instance, police allege that Dori Joseph Costa, of the 12300 block of Fox Hollow Court in West Friendship, pretended to ask for directions and then reached inside the victims' vehicles and touched them inappropriately. He was being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bail on charges of sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual offense after his arrest Friday, according to police.

A 19-year-old woman reported to campus security that, while sitting in her vehicle March 8, she was approached by a man carrying a map book and a cellular phone who asked for directions. Police said the woman agreed to give him directions, and the man reached inside her car, placed the map book on her lap, then brushed the back of his hand against her body.

Campus security officials told county police that two additional instances believed to involve the same man were reported two days later. County police then sent out a bulletin to all Maryland police agencies that detailed the crimes and provided a physical description of the suspect.

On Friday, investigators from the University of Maryland, College Park provided a report and a photograph of a potential suspect based on a similar incident that took place in 2006 on that campus, in which Costa was charged. The Anne Arundel County victims identified the suspect in the photograph as their attacker, and Costa was arrested that day.

Sgt. Jeff Morgan, an Anne Arundel County Eastern District detective, said Costa had also been charged with similar crimes last year in Alabama, and police were working with Constellation Energy officials to determine where else Costa traveled for work. A Constellation Energy official told The Capital newspaper that Costa was fired Tuesday.

Baltimore Sun reporter Brent Jones contributed to this article.

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