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Have you seen this man?

$20,000 Reward for Information on the Serial Rapist

By: Alejandra Serna

For the past year, a sexual predator has plagued a twenty-block stretch of Coral Way. After a total of six rape victims, police have used DNA evidence to connect the individual cases and confirm the existence of a serial rapist.

The case descriptions show that, unlike most, this criminal does not discriminate amongst age groups. The most recent cases include three girls (11-13 years old). On the contrary, the other three cases include a 21-year-old, a 55-year-old and a 79-year-old woman.

According to police, the man’s methods are as eclectic as his choice of victims. He either presents himself as a “nice guy,” or inflicts violent surprise attacks on others. ·· Race/Sex: Dark-skinned Hispanic male
· Height: 5 feet 8 inches
· Weight: 170 to 180 pounds
· Hair: Dark, curly

“This is a person who likes to have power … over someone else,” says Deputy Chief Frank Fernandez.
The man currently being sought after by police has been described as a dark-skinned Hispanic in his 30’s or 40’s. He has been known to speak only in Spanish to his prey, which adheres to the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood he targets. A sketch of his likeness can be found all over Dade County on “WANTED” posters; but police efforts don’t stop there.

In addition to countless officers working overtime on Coral Way, the police department is offering a $20,000 reward for information. Moreover, the DNA that originally linked the rape cases together has also been run through a nationwide database of sex offenders.

Although no new cases have turned up, the summer brings more worries. Police are concerned about children left home alone, as the youngest victims were attacked under these conditions. Basically, they believe the community needs to be educated.

You might think the use of the word “educated” is extreme, because safety seems to be such a common-sense matter: Why would you open the door to a stranger? The question seems rhetorical, but that is the root of the problem. Once the situation becomes a “no brainer,” you stop thinking about it and stop talking about it. Once you stop talking about it, you stop teaching about it. Safety is no longer a common sense matter anymore. Whether it is naivety or a strong sense of security, everyone is vulnerable to committing a mistake or being tricked into one.

In an academic test, you avoid committing the stupid mistake by being prepared. The same applies here. Take self-defense classes, speak openly to educate friends and family, and be wary of strangers. These suggestions are simple, but crucial.

Start of by knowing your surroundings. The Miami-Dade Police Department emphasizes this through the Sexual Predator Search system featured on their website. The website offers detailed information on all registered sex offenders in your area and includes a recent photograph. Now that you know what to look for, the next step is being prepared. This is where the R.A.D program comes in.

The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) program is a self-defense system designed especially for women. Experts agree that one of the most effective guards against rape is to know how to physically protect yourself. R.A.D. teaches you how to do that by combining defense tactics with lectures on related topics. To find your local R.A.D chapter, consult their website.

Remember, rape is a game of power. It is all about who wields it. Rapists attempt to take control through surprise and violence. As a result, the best defense is preparation and intelligence.

Check out these links for more information:

RAD System
http://www.rad-systems.com

Miami-Dade Police Department
http://www.mdpd.com/

Rape: Lets Stop it
http://katesfeminist.info/rape/safety.html

Safety for Women
http://www.safetyforwomen.com/

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/police/tips/childabs.html

All tips, call Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS


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0 0 70 01 August, 2003 National, News August 1, 2003

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