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Man busted in 106 Pct. in serial rape pattern

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A Brooklyn man was arrested Saturday afternoon for driving without a license and hours later was charged with committing a series of rapes in southern Queens after he confessed to several of the attacks, the Queens district attorney's office said.

Steve Charles, 27, of 1260 E. 54th Street, Brooklyn, was charged with first-degree rape in four rapes and one attempted rape, said Sherry Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Queens DA.

Charles confessed to committing three of the four rapes and the attempted rape, which stretched over a six-month period beginning in February and ending Aug. 23, complaints filed by the DA's office said.

The rapes took place within the 106th Precinct, which covers South Ozone Park.

Charles was also charged with first-degree sexual abuse, sodomy and unlawful imprisonment, the DA said.

Police pulled over Charles at 134th Street and 116th Avenue in the Ozone Park area around 4 p.m. Saturday and charged him with driving with a suspended license, the DA's office said. Officer Charles Larkin, a Police Department spokesman, said Charles was arrested hours later in the serial rapes.

The complaints detailing each attack showed that the manner in which the five sexual attacks were carried out conformed to a definite pattern. The complaints said Charles, clad in a scarf to hide his face, would approach the victims, display a weapon and threaten to kill them. Charles would order the women to take off their clothes or would take them off himself and then would rape them, the complaints said.

In three of the rape cases and the attempted rape, Charles confirmed to police the details of the attacks, the complaints said.

The most recent rape occurred on Aug. 23 in the area of 116th Street, police said. The woman was accosted on the street by Charles, who confessed that he placed a gun to her head, ordered her into a driveway and pulled down her pants, the complaint said.

During the rape, the complaint said, a woman yelled from a window "what is going on?" The victim screamed that she was being raped, and Charles ran away, according to the complaint.

Two days earlier a 29-year-old woman was raped in the vicinity of 114th Place in Ozone Park, police said. According to the complaint, Charles told authorities that he led the woman into a driveway at gunpoint. The rape was foiled, however, when two men came out of a nearby house and chased Charles to his car, the complaint said. In addition, the woman told police she had heard three gun shots, the complaint said.

Three other rapes were committed between Feb. 23 and June 28, authorities said. In the June 28 rape, the complaint said, a friend of the woman who was raped and the victim were offered a ride home by a man named "Mike" or "Steve." After the woman's friend left the car, the complaint said, Charles drove to a driveway and raped the woman. Charles told police he did have sexual intercourse with the woman, the complaint said.

The other two rapes were committed on Feb. 23, in the area of 166th Street, and March 4, in the vicinity of 96th Street, authorities said. Charles confessed to carrying out both attacks, the complaint said.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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