For the first time in more than a decade, a serial rapist has been tracked down. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the indictment of 54-year-old Dandre Shabazz.
“There might be some people who are looking at the picture of this defendant and they might say, hey, that’s the same guy that assaulted me,” said Howard. “We are hoping that this won’t happen again.”
According to Howard, Shabazz is a serial rapist who sexually assaulted, and in some cases, kidnapped and robbed at least 15 women at gunpoint dating back to 2001. Although the women reported their assaults to police, his identity remained unknown for years.
Three years ago, a CBS46 investigation uncovered hundreds of rape kits that hadn't been sent to a crime lab for processing. That prompted Howard’s office to investigate and eventually track down 1,500 untested kits sitting on shelves at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
“We really have to thank the news media, and we really have to thank your stations for covering this issue because it was a surprise to our office, the DA’s office, that we had so many rape kits just sitting at Grady hospital,” said Howard.
In august 2005, Shabazz was arrested for armed robbery, which prevented him from continuing to victimize women in Fulton County. He was sentenced to federal prison and has been in custody ever since. He was up for possible release later this year, but investigators have other plans, including closure for the victims.
“They uniformly all expressed relief, gratitude that they had finally been notified after all these years and that their assailant had finally been captured,” said Irina Khasin with the sexual assault kit task force.
“It was luck, not just good fortunate for the DA’s office, but really it was the good fortune for the victims in this case,” said Howard.
Shabazz isn't the only offender. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said they've identified about 25 serial offenders, all of which they intend to indict. That said, if there are other victims out there who's cases have gone cold, you're asked to call the DA’s sexual assault kit taskforce at (404) 612-4948)
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