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.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.