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Police charge man accused of raping women in N.E. Baltimore

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Baltimore police arrested a 45-year-old Baltimore man they suspected in two sexual assaults over a period of 15 months in Northeastern Baltimore.

John Thomas Leach, of the 3400 block of Mary Ave. in the Glenham-Belhar neighborhood, was charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual offense, assault, burglary and other charges. Police believe he assaulted two women on his block. The first incident took place in January 2013.

According to an arrest warrant in that case, police said the victim came out of her shower around 9:30 a.m. to face a masked intruder who bound, gagged and blindfolded her before sexually assaulting her. Police said the suspect barricaded the victim in a closet, allowing him time to escape.

A second assault on the same block occurred on March 27, police said.

On Wednesday, based on a match detectives made between Leach's DNA and physical evidence left at the first crime scene, police arrested him. It's unclear how police obtained Leach's DNA to make the match. Maryland court records show he had been convicted of first-degree assault in 1999, the same year state law began requiring people convicted of assault to provide DNA samples.

Police did not immediately return an email asking how police obtained Leach's DNA.

Baltimore Sun staff writer Ian Duncan contributed to this article.

jgeorge@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/justingeorge

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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