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Baltimore police seek man charged in 2 gunpoint rapes

A man charged with abducting and raping two women at gunpoint and wanted for questioning in six other sexual assaults was being sought last night by police.

Investigators have received unconfirmed reports that the suspect has the HIV virus, causing alarm in the North Baltimore area where he is believed to have committed the attacks.

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Brian Avery Beard, 24, whose last known address was the 2600 block of Springhill Ave., is charged in warrants with first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, perverted practice and false imprisonment, court records showed.

Beard, who is on probation for a May 4 assault conviction, is alleged to have abducted women in two separate incidents in early September. In both cases, the victim was forced to a secluded spot in the Greenmount Avenue corridor between North Avenue and 25th Street and raped at gunpoint, police said.

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One of the victims was five months' pregnant at the time of the attack, said Officer Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a city police spokesman. Both victims were treated and released at area hospitals.

"We consider him to be armed and extremely dangerous. . . . We have received information that would indicate he has the HIV virus, and that certainly is a grave concern of ours," said Officer Weinhold. He added, however, that the reports have not been confirmed.

"It is our priority, and the community's priority, to get this guy off the street," Officer Weinhold said. "He is a prime suspect in a third rape and is wanted for questioning in at least five other

sexual assaults."

Beard is described as black, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 125 pounds and having a slender face.

He has sunken eyes and close-cut hair, police said. He is likely to still be in the area of Greenmount Avenue, investigators said.

A Baltimore District Court judge sentenced him in May to 18 months in jail for assault, but suspended all but 29 days, court records showed.

Police said they had advised the victims to be tested for possible HIV infection, the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome. That suggestion has become commonplace in sexual assault cases.

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Anyone with any information about Beard's whereabouts is asked to call the city police emergency 911 number.


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