MANHATTAN (CN) – A Harlem man was linked to a series of rapes after voluntarily giving a DNA sample to police officers who stopped him on the street because he looked like a police sketch of the suspect, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Vincent Heyward, 21, was charged Thursday with crimes that struck fear into women in Upper Manhattan for more than a month.
Prosecutors said the DNA sample linked Heyward to four sexual assaults and robberies in August and September in Hamilton Heights and Chinatown. A fifth woman escaped rape, but was dragged down a flight a stairs in her apartment building and beaten. The ages of the victims ranged from 23 to 69.
Four women were attacked in apartment buildings. A 59-year-old was pulled into an alleyway. Another woman was raped at knifepoint after the assailant entered through a bathroom window.
Heyward has no prior arrests. He was indicted on 14 counts of predatory sexual assault and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.