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Durham police seek information on three sexual assaults

Posted April 14, 2009

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— Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for information leading to arrests in three sexual assaults involving teenage females.

Investigators have not determined if the incidents are related.

The most recent incident was Feb. 16 in the 1400 block of Seaton Road. A 15-year-old victim told police it happened around 6:30 p.m. She reported the alleged assault to police several weeks later. The victim said she was walking on Seaton Road when she was attacked from behind, dragged to the nearby woods, thrown to the ground and sexually assaulted.

The suspect was described as a black man with a medium to dark complexion, 6 feet tall with a stocky build. He was wearing a black ski mask that exposed his eyes and lips, black clothing and gloves. The victim described the suspect’s voice as angry.

Another assault is alleged to have occurred on December 5, 2007 around 11:15 p.m. by the mailboxes in front of Building 5310 at Penrith Apartments on Penrith Drive.

An 18-year-old woman reported that she was getting ready to open her mailbox when a man grabbed her right arm, pulled her to a nearby grassy area, threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The suspect did not speak during the assault and was last seen running into the woods. The victim was only able to describe the suspect as a tall man.

The next incident allegedly occurred around 6:30 p.m. on October 13, 2008 behind the garages near the mailboxes at South Terrace at Auburn Apartments, 801 East Woodcroft Parkway.  A 16-year-old girl reported that she was putting her key in the mailbox when she was attacked from behind, dragged behind the garages and sexually assaulted.

The suspect was described as a dark-skinned black man, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 tall with a muscular, stocky build. The suspect had rough hands and was wearing blue jeans, a black hooded jacket and a black ski mask that exposed his eyes and lips. He never spoke to the victim during the entire incident.

Anyone with information on any of these cases is asked to call Investigator Burwell at 919-560-4415, ext. 234 or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.


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  • angora2 Apr 15, 2009

    ONE LOVE, these are teenagers. What 15-year-old girl wants her friends to find out she's been raped? That kind of news, regardless of efforts to keep it under wraps, gets out. The shame rape victims feel is debilitating, and for a teen would be worse.

  • Catalina_Day Apr 15, 2009

    FEAR is one reason it could take several weeks to report a rape. another reason is that you have people who want to blame the victim. Take a walk in someone elses shoes before you judge. For every rape that is reported there's at least 10 that don't get reported. One reason is the ridicule by others who don't have a clue.

  • OneLove Apr 15, 2009

    WHAT takes a woman SEVERAL weeks to report a rape? i mean, if its a rape, its a rape. i would report it immediately. that way, they can do swabs and stuff. did she have to THINK about it? thats what makes it suspicious to me.

  • angora2 Apr 15, 2009

    DeathRow, your statement about whether the victims screamed or fought is unconscionable. Have you ever talked to a rape victim? Have you ever seen a rape victim within 24 hours after the assault? If you had, you would not have said what you did.

  • davidbh61255 Apr 15, 2009

    Are they reporting it now to cover their cans in case it is a serial rapist?

  • TeresaBee Apr 15, 2009

    And the police are asking for information now? In April?

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Apr 15, 2009

    I appreciate that. I was just asking. Jees!

  • mrduright Apr 15, 2009


    Are you serious no they didn’t fight back all three just let a strange man in a ski mask pull them to a deserted area? This is where common sense comes in and why would the police tell us if he used a weapon, maybe the police know what weapon he used in all three cases and keeping it to themselves. I mean the police aren’t completely useless.

  • christinathefern Apr 15, 2009

    Deathrow have you lost your everloving mind?
    Teenage girl vs large man? You expect them to fight? Have you been around a teenage girl lately? They were more than likely frozen in fear like a deer in the headlights. Besides, what difference does it make if they fought or not? Let me find someone who has about 100 lbs on you, have them snatch your tail up from behind and see how long it takes you to figure out what the heck is going on, let alone fight back...
    Let's not forget that fighting back a rapist can cause the crime to escalate to murder...get real.

    Hope the police get to the bottom of it all..

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Apr 15, 2009

    I'm sure the article left out a ton of details. But the article didn't mention about the assailant using a weapon. It also didn't mention if any of the three screamed or fought. If he had a weapon, that's understandable. But it didn't mention a weapon for any of the three cases.