Local News

Home invasion suspect has history of sex crimes

Posted September 13, 2010 5:19 p.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2010 6:31 p.m. EDT

— A Durham man charged a week ago in a Person County home invasion was on probation for a Durham County sex assault at the time of his arrest.

Alfred Douala Mangabell, 29, of 1815 Vale St. in Durham, was charged with first-degree burglary with forced entry, kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault with sexual intent and is being held in the Person County jail under a $1 million bond.

The charges stem from a Sept. 5 incident in Timberlake in which an armed man broke into a home and demanded money. When the two women inside said they had none, authorities said, he forced them to engage in sex acts while he photographed them.

A child inside the home at the time was unharmed, authorities said.

Investigators found a camera during a search of Mangabell's home that linked him to the crime, as well as other items that linked him to a June 11 burglary in Mebane. He was charged Thursday with first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon in that case.

Mangabell, who also uses the name Alfred Manga Bell, pleaded guilty in February and March to a series of charges in connection with a May 2009 sex assault in Durham County.

"The victim stated that, while she was asleep, someone entered into her residence, and she was assaulted sexually," said Lt. Stan Harris of the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

Mangabell pleaded guilty to breaking and entering, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, sexual battery and attempting to secretly capture an image of another person in the Durham case. He was sentenced to slightly more than a year in prison, which was suspended to 18 months on supervised probation, according to court records.

He also was required to register as a sex offender.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Mitch Garrell said the victim in the Durham case knew Mangabell and wanted the plea deal. He also noted that Mangabell spent about nine months in jail awaiting trial.

Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones said there are similarities between the Durham case and the Timberlake home invasion.

"It appears a lot of similarity, to the point of taking pictures and some of the threats and some of the actions," Jones said.

The assailant in the Timberlake case told the women he would post explicit pictures of them online if they reported the incident to authorities, Jones said.

Burlington police said Monday that they are looking at similarities between the Person County case and an unsolved case in that city, but they declined to call Mangabell a suspect in the Burlington case.

Jones said the cases could be the tip of an iceberg.

"It really would not surprise me if it's not more," he said.

Garrell said Mangabell's probation is in the process of being revoked, and Jones said Mangabell, who is originally from Africa, could also face questions from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.