Police say DNA links rape cases

February 24, 2005|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - DNA evidence links a sexual assault in Montgomery County, Md., with two attacks in Franklin County, Pa., Chambersburg Police Chief Michael T. DeFrank said Wednesday.

Pov N. Srun, 33, of the 800 block of West Washington Street, was arrested Monday and charged by police in Montgomery County, Md., with two sexual assaults in that county.

DeFrank said DNA links one of those Montgomery County cases with a sexual assault in Waynesboro, Pa., on Sept. 18, and one in Chambersburg, Pa., on Sept. 28.


"That DNA has been positively identified in all three cases," Chambersburg Police Chief Michael T. DeFrank said of samples taken from a Jan. 25 sexual assault at the Norbeck Montessori Day School in Rockville, Md., the Sept. 18 incident in the parking lot of Kmart on East Main Street in Waynesboro, Pa., and the Sept. 28 assault outside Weis Market on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg.

No charges have been filed against Srun in Franklin County.

Police in Montgomery County are in the process of comparing Srun's DNA with those samples and evidence gathered after a Monday assault at the Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda, Md., according to Derek Baliles, an officer and spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

In the Monday incident at the Bethesda shopping center, police said a man forced the girl into her minivan and sexually assaulted her.

A witness saw the partially-clad girl get out of the van and a man get into a silver Honda Odyssey, police said. The witness got the license number of the Honda. Srun was arrested later that day.

In the Montgomery County cases, Srun was charged in the Jan. 25 and Monday cases with second-degree rape, a first-degree sexual offense, a second-degree sexual offense and five counts of third-degree sexual offense. Baliles said Srun was denied bail at a bond hearing Tuesday.

Baliles said Maryland differentiates between vaginal rape and incidents in which a sexual offense occurs that does not involve rape.

Conviction on a first-degree sexual offense charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, he said.

"The two cases are in many, many ways, obviously connected," DeFrank said of the Franklin County assaults. He said it would be "appropriate" to characterize both as rapes.

In each case, as with those in Montgomery County, the assailant tried to hide his identity by placing pieces of duct tape on his face, according to Detective Scott Mummert, the lead investigator for the Chambersburg Police Department. Mummert said the Franklin County assaults each lasted about 45 minutes to an hour.

DeFrank said the assailant used a "blitz approach," forcing the victims into their own vehicles, driving them to another location and sexually assaulting them. All the victims fit a similar profile in that they were white, in their late teens or early 20s and "petite in stature."

In Waynesboro, the alleged victim was a 16-year-old girl. The victim in Chambersburg was 20 and the victims in Rockville and Bethesda were 18 and 20, respectively.

DeFrank said the assailant in the Franklin County assaults told both victims he was armed, similar to the cases in Montgomery County. Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Nancy Meyers said the man told the victims he was armed with a gun or knife.

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