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Astoria rape suspect arrested in city

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Frederick Monroe, 35, was sought after the police identified him from DNA samples taken at the scene of the first two rapes, Inspector Michael Collins had said earlier this month.

Monroe is alleged to have forced his way into the apartment of a 28-year-old Astoria woman whom he raped, police said. Less than two hours later he allegedly sexually assaulted a 40-year-old woman after following her from the elevator to her Upper East Side hotel room, Collins said.

Monroe was arrested Saturday after he allegedly pushed his way into a Japanese immigrant's apartment at 20 West 64th St. and handcuffed him to a shower rod, said Detective Carolyn Chew, a police spokeswoman. While in his apartment, Monroe allegedly stole two laptop computers, jewelry, and an undisclosed amount of cash, she said.

According to the detective, a security guard stopped Monroe when he tried to leave the building about 6:50 p.m.

In that incident, he was charged with robbery, burglary and assault, Chew said.

A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said no other charges had been filed against Monroe by presstime Wednesday morning and an investigation was continuing.

After his arrest, Monroe told police he was a diabetic and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital.

On Saturday, Monroe was positively identified in eight police lineups, Chew said.

Police said he is suspected of as many as 11 crimes, ranging from assault and burglary to three sexual assaults, beginning with the fondling of a 13-year-old Forest Hills girl on Oct. 29.

Police officials identified Monroe after he allegedly raped two women within hours of each other on Nov. 11. In the first attack at about 8:35 p.m., Monroe is suspected of following a 28-year-old Astoria woman to her 29th Street apartment and forcing his way in. Once inside, he tied her up and sexually assaulted her, said Officer Valerie St. Rose, a police spokeswoman.

Monroe is also suspected of stealing the woman's jewelry and cash, and her ATM card and password, which he apparently used at a nearby grocery, St. Rose said.

About two hours later he made his way to Manhattan's Upper East Side and allegedly followed a 40-year-old woman into her hotel room, St. Rose said. There he is suspected of pushing his way into the woman's room, knocking her down, and ordering her to undress. He then allegedly tied her up and raped her, St. Rose said. He is also suspected of stealing her ATM card and password and using it at a nearby store, the spokeswoman said.

St. Rose said Monroe has a history of committing violent crimes, and had been a fugitive since failing to report to his parole officer on Oct. 22.

Monroe's criminal record, which includes several robberies and assaults, dates back to 1982, police said.

Last December, he was released from an upstate jail after serving 10 years for robbery and attempted murder convictions, said St. Rose.

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