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May 31st, 2008

UPDATE: POLICE CONFIRM PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FOUND AT RAPE SCENE IN SOHO.

by Joelle Panisch

Speaker Quinn’s office confirmed yesterday that cigarette butts containing the suspect’s DNA and additional physical evidence were found at the rape scene in Soho on Wednesday, May 28th.

Early reports stated that the suspect had asked the 19-year old victim for a cigarette before following her to her Prince St. building, forcing her inside, and raping her. Authorities now confirm possession of the cigarettes, as well as physical evidence found on the girl during examinations at Bellevue hospital.

Surveillance video from the woman’s apartment shows the attacker to be a stout, African American male with a light blue baseball cap and a dark back pack. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described him as having a “pockmarked face.” Police released a sketch of the suspect and representatives from Speaker Quinn’s office vow to post copies of the sketch in Soho and surrounding neighborhoods early next week.

Sexual assaults and rapes have doubled in Soho since last year, from 3 in 2007 to 6 already in the past six months. Just last April a 25 year-old woman was assaulted in her Spring St. apartment after the attacker pushed through her door and attempted to rape her. Luckily the rape was halted when neighbors responded to her cries. The police say there is no evidence that the two crimes are connected.

One Soho resident calls the attacks, “shocking and frightening.” Said the mother of two, “It reminds you that you don’t just live in a safe little cocoon.”

As of now the NYPD crime stoppers are still offering a reward of up to $2,000 for any information on both the April 13th and May 28th attacks. If you have any information call the NYS Crime Stoppers Hotline at (866) 313-TIPS (8477) or go to www.nyscrimestoppers.org

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