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Grand jury indicts ‘serial sexual predator’ for raping 3 women in Cleveland

Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 2:33 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted a 27-year-old man for several rapes and kidnappings from December 2018 through December 2020 in Cleveland.

Christian Burks is accused of raping a total of three women, and according to the prosecutor, in several cases, the women thought Burks was their Uber driver.

“Christian Burks is a serial sexual predator,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley, “He will be held accountable for his actions.”

Assistant Prosecutor Kerry Sowul, who is part of the Special Victim’s Unit, says, “These young women were out for the evening enjoying themselves. They did everything right. At the end of the night, they were calling for an Uber driver, and they ended up in his car, and he took advantage of several of these women.”

The first victim, a 20-year-old, was raped at a party on E. 4th Street near Prospect Avenue on Dec. 9, 2018.

On May 24, 2020, a 23-year-old woman and her male friend ordered an Uber outside a bar on W. 6th Street near Johnson Court.

Cleveland police said both got into Burks’ vehicle, thinking it was their Uber ride.

Burks allegedly drove them to a gas station on Lorain Avenue on Fulton Road, and when the man exited to purchase water, Burks drove away with the victim and stole her credit cards, which he allegedly used to make several purchases.

On May 27, 2020, Burks was accused of arguing with a 24-year-old woman later identified as his girlfriend, near W. 38th Street and Vine Court, and forcing her into his vehicle.

The victim tried to get out of his car near the Eddy Road exit ramp by I-90, but he allegedly grabbed her by the neck and dragged her back into his car.

A 21-year-old woman told police on Nov. 15, 2020, she was at a bar near W. 6th Street and Lakeside Avenue when she became separated from her friends, and Burks sexually assaulted her multiple times in his vehicle.

On Dec. 14, 2020, a 22-year-old woman and her friend ordered an Uber outside a bar on W. 6th Street near Johnson Court.

The victim ended up getting in the car by herself, and police said Burks sexually assaulted her in another vehicle and drove her to an East Cleveland hotel but fled before police arrived.

Burks was indicted on:

  • Eight counts of rape
  • Seven counts of kidnapping
  • Six counts of gross sexual imposition
  • One count of abduction
  • One count of domestic violence
  • One count of theft
  • One count of misuse of credit cards

19 News asked if it is possible that there are other victims out there; assistant prosecutor Sowul says this could have happened to anyone, and yes, it is possible that other victims are out there. If you are a victim, you can contact Cleveland Police or the law enforcement agency in the area where you were assaulted.

Burks has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his bond was set at $250,000.

He will be back in court for a pre-trial on April 15.

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