Akron Police use DNA evidence to track down suspected serial rapist

Akron Police use DNA evidence to track down suspected serial rapist
Prentice L. Smith, 43, of Anderson Avenue in Akron, was connected to four sexual assault cases through DNA evidence, police say.

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A suspected serial rapist was tracked down and arrested by Akron Police on Friday.

According to police, Prentice L. Smith, 43, of Anderson Avenue in Akron, was connected to four sexual assault cases through DNA evidence.

Cold case detectives working on the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) said the crimes date back to January 17, 2011.

In one of the cases, police say Smith was armed with a handgun and threatened a woman before ordering her to get into his car.

Police say Smith would drive to a secluded area and sexually assault his victims. The most recent case was on December 25, 2018.

Detectives are asking any other potential victims to come forward.

Smith was booked into the Summit County Jail.

He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Summit County Common Pleas Court on June 12 at 8:30 a.m.

The Akron Police Department was awarded a federal grant by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in 2018 to investigate and prosecute cold case sexual assaults.

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