DNA connects Cleveland's 'early morning rapist' to rape in Lakew - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

DNA connects Cleveland's 'early morning rapist' to rape in Lakewood

James Daniel III has been charged with rapes in Cleveland and Lakewood. (Source: Cleveland Police) James Daniel III has been charged with rapes in Cleveland and Lakewood. (Source: Cleveland Police)
Sketch of Lakewood rape suspect. (Source: Lakewood Police) Sketch of Lakewood rape suspect. (Source: Lakewood Police)
CPD at Lakewood Police news conference. (Source: WOIO) CPD at Lakewood Police news conference. (Source: WOIO)
LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) -

Lakewood Police Chief Timothy J. Malley says they have the man responsible for last month's rape.

At a news conference Thursday morning Chief Malley and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced that they believe James Daniel III is responsible for the August 30 rape in Lakewood. He was connected to the crime through DNA.

On September 10, police released a composite sketch of the man they say raped and robbed a woman around 4:30 a.m. That sketch turned out to be Daniel. Officers say he was armed when he approached the victim on Warren Road and assaulted her before fleeing on foot.

Daniel was just arrested and charged with rape in Cleveland. Police say DNA matched him to an attack on a jogger on W. 104th and Lake Road during the early morning hours of September 2. 

Daniel has been in custody for a week. 

Besides these two rapes, Daniel's DNA also connects him to the February 7, 2000, rape of another Cleveland woman. The rape kit from that attack has been tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation as part of Attorney General Mike DeWine's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and its findings were being investigated by Cuyahoga County DNA Cold Case Task Force at the time of the early morning rapes.

Because of similarities in both crimes, the most recent rapes were thought to be connected from the very beginning of the investigation.  

A judge in Cleveland set Daniel's bond at $750,000. It's likely that will be increased due to the latest charges. He is due back in court on Sept. 30.

Daniel, 33, has spent much of his adult life in prison. Since 2000, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judges have sentenced him to the penitentiary for crimes that include felonious assault, robbery, burglary and receiving stolen property.

He most recently left prison on March 31, 2014 and was on three years' post-release control at the time of his latest vicious crimes.

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