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Baltimore city, county police make arrest in rape cases, search for additional victims

Police in Baltimore City and Baltimore County are searching for other possible victims after charging a 29-year-old man with raping two women last year, alleging he forced one woman at knifepoint and choked another.

Police in Baltimore City and Baltimore County arrested Brandon Saunders, 29, of Eierman Avenue in Northeast Baltimore at his home Wednesday on charges of first-degree rape and assault. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson on $200,000 bail.

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Online court records did not say whether Saunders has posted bail. Tyler L. Mann, who is listed as Saunders’ attorney in the county case, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday night.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said Saunders should not be given the opportunity to post bail before trial given the serious nature of the charges, and a previous assault conviction in Pennsylvania.

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Brandon Saunders, 29, of the 3900 block of Eierman Ave. was arrested at his home without incident Wednesday. Saunders is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree assault, and is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $200,000 bail. Baltimore City Police have an arrest warrant for Saunders based on a collaborative investigation for a rape that occurred in the city in October 2019. He has a $20,000 bail in that case.
Brandon Saunders, 29, of the 3900 block of Eierman Ave. was arrested at his home without incident Wednesday. Saunders is charged with first-degree rape and first-degree assault, and is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $200,000 bail. Baltimore City Police have an arrest warrant for Saunders based on a collaborative investigation for a rape that occurred in the city in October 2019. He has a $20,000 bail in that case. (Scott D. Kilpatrick/courtesy of BCoPD)

“This is hands down a no-bail case. This is not a person who should even have an opportunity to be walking on the street again until his trial,” he said of the order by District Judge Sally C. Chester.

Meanwhile, police and prosecutors are urging any other possible victims to come forward.

County police spokeswoman Sgt. Vickie Warehime would not say whether police had information about other incidents, but said Saunders “would use fear as a motivation in the attack. This is the time. We need those victims to come forward.”

The investigation into Saunders began June 28, 2019, after a woman flagged down a driver near Interstate 695, near Perring Parkway in the Cromwell Valley neighborhood, according to charging documents. She asked them to call police.

The woman told officers she was raped and assaulted in the parking lot of nearby Loch Raven High School and then ran.

The woman said she was kicked out of a home she had been staying in and was trying to get to her dad’s house, and caught a ride from a man at a gas station on East 25th Street at Greenmount Avenue in North Baltimore.

The victim told police then when she told Saunders he wasn’t driving in the direction of her dad’s, he began to assault her inside the car. At the school parking lot he forced her to have sex, threatened to kill her and choked her several times, causing her to lose consciousness, according to the documents.

At one point he told her, “if you try to run, I am going to blow your [expletive head off]” and he also told her he dug a hole nearby to bury her body, police allege. He forced her to record the rape using one of his two cellphones, the woman told police.

Several months later, on Oct. 13, 2019, Baltimore police were called to Harford Road after another woman flagged down a car and reported that she, too, had been raped, according to charging documents in the city case. The woman said she was waiting for a bus at Dundalk and Holabird avenues when a man offered her a ride, which she accepted because of the worsening weather.

When the driver, later identified as Saunders, started heading the wrong direction, the woman told police the driver pulled a knife out and threatened her, according to the charging documents.

They drove to Clifton Park, where he forced her to perform oral sex and then forced her to have sex on the hood of his car. The woman told police that she attempted to call for help but because they were in a secluded area, no one came to her aid.

She told police the man took a break, and sat in the car, at which point she collected her clothes and ran to Harford Road where she was able to flag a passerby who called police.

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Baltimore County detectives said they found evidence from a speed camera that the suspect’s silver Oldsmobile entered the Loch Raven High lot, and obtained evidence from a camera at the city gas station where the first victim was picked up. They had also collected evidence from the school parking lot, including a used condom and video footage of the woman being dragged and kicked before the sexual assault.

Detectives also obtained a search warrant compelling Google to provide them with all account users in the area of the high school parking lot during the rape. That turned up only one user in the area, an account later traced to Saunders, the charging documents said.

Not until June 29, 2020, did Google release the name, email and recovery phone number connected with the account after a subsequent search warrant, the document said. Detectives then served a subpoena on T-Mobile, requesting records associated with the number, which they found was registered to Saunders.

During the investigation, county police said detectives reached out to city police to look at similarities with other rape cases, which led them to Saunders, according to the charging documents.

Anyone with information on the cases or additional cases is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Baltimore City detectives at 410-396-2076.

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