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Rape Suspect Could Be Linked To Other Sexual Assaults In West Durham

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DURHAM, N.C. — Police said a man charged with raping a Durham woman in March could be tied to other unsolved sexual assault cases in the city.

Friday, police charged Lawrence Hawes, 36, with first-degree burglary, first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sex offense and one count of first-degree kidnapping in connection with the incident on Englewood Avenue on March 7.

The victim told police a man armed with a pistol-grip sawed-off shotgun entered her home around 4 a.m. and sexually assaulted her.

Officers said DNA linked Hawes to the crime.

Durham police are now working with the State Bureau of Investigation to determine if DNA tests could link Hawes to other five unsolved rape cases in west Durham.

"Right now, we're looking between some of the other sexual assaults that have taken place and the one on Englewood Avenue. So we're either going try to eliminate of those or see if he's involved," said Cpl. R.C. Spivey of the Durham Police Department.

Hawes is being held in the Durham County Detention Center under $1 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 27.

Hawes is a

convicted sexual offender

. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1988 but was released in June of 2001 after serving nearly 13 years.

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