A man convicted five years ago of a 1983 rape in Baltimore has been charged with six rapes in Baltimore County that occurred between 1978 and 1989, Baltimore County police said yesterday.
Alphonso W. Hill, 55, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for the 1983 rape, was charged Tuesday with six counts of first-degree rape and several other sex-offense charges, according to county police. He is also being investigated in at least 20 other unsolved rapes, police said.
Baltimore County detectives had been searching the Combined DNA Index System, CODIS, for help in solving the string of six attacks that occurred around Towson along the Loch Raven Boulevard corridor from the city-county line to the Baltimore Beltway.
A Baltimore County detective and a Baltimore City detective, who are married, were talking about the case when the city detective mentioned learning about Hill during a training class, police said. The county detective began to consider Hill as a suspect in the county crimes because of the similarity between the attacks, police said.
In 2002, Hill pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in an attack on an 18-year-old college student in her apartment in 1983. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison as part of a plea agreement. At the time of his arrest, Hill told police that he had a history of being a Peeping Tom and of exhibiting lewd behavior, according to an article in The Sun.
Laura Neuman, who came forward after Hill was convicted of raping her to speak about the anguish of seeing the case unsolved for nearly 20 years, told the Associated Press yesterday that she was "thrilled" to know that more rape victims would have the satisfaction of knowing their attacker had been identified. She praised the detectives who cracked the case.
"They should be very proud to make those phone calls and tell those women the cases have been solved. It's a life-changing event," said Neuman, who launched the Laura Neuman Foundation in 2003 to advocate for justice for rape victims.
Hill was arrested and charged in the 1983 rape after police entered fingerprints collected at the rape scene into a state fingerprint database in 2002.
While investigating the six county rapes, police learned that Hill's DNA had not been entered into CODIS. On Aug. 13, police went to the Western Correctional Institute in Cumberland with a search warrant and obtained Hill's DNA. According to police, his DNA matched the DNA collected in the six unsolved rapes.
In those cases, the attacker threatened the women with a weapon and then raped them. Police said that investigators are looking into at least 20 other similar unsolved rapes in the area and that forensic testing will be conducted on any physical evidence collected.
Hill was also charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree sex offense, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of perverted practice, six counts of first-degree assault, four counts of first-degree burglary, one count of sodomy and several weapons charges, police said. He will remain at the prison while awaiting trial.