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DNA Sample Leads to Arrest

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.

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