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Charges: Serial rapist in Minneapolis targeted women on escort website, dating app

The 24 year old was arrested after an alleged attack on March 18.

A suspected serial rapist in north Minneapolis was arrested earlier this month and is now facing felony sexual assault and aggravated robbery charges. 

According to charging documents, Kenyatta Devine Buckles, 24, of Minneapolis, has been linked to numerous rapes, attempted sexual assaults and robberies dating back to late 2018.

A criminal complaint describes multiple sexual assault reports in which the suspect operates in a similar pattern, first making contact with a woman through a escort website or dating app while using a fake name. 

On Jan. 20, police were went to the 2200 block of Clinton Ave. S. in Minneapolis after a 911 caller reported hearing a woman screaming. 

The woman told police that a man who called himself "Rodney" had contacted her through the escort website, where he arranged to have the woman pick him up and drive him to a construction area near Franklin Ave. and I-35W.

When they arrived, the man pulled a knife, held it to her throat and demanded money or sex. 

While the suspect was looking for a condom in the woman's purse, she was able to run from the vehicle. But the man sprinted after her, punched her in the face and threw her to the ground. When he put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, she bit him and was again able to run away, this time catching the 911 caller's attention. 

Officers arrived and walked her back to the scene of the assault, where they found a knife the woman described, later finding her car in a nearby alley. 

She described the attacker as a black man in his early 20s with glasses, a black coat, white/yellow hat and a scarf that partially covered his face. She noted that he matched the description from another woman who had warned about the the man on the escort website. 

Inside the woman's car was the suspect's hat. DNA testing connected the hat to Buckles through a convicted offender database, revealing that Buckles' apartment was just a few blocks from where the victim picked up her attacker.

Linked to other assaults

Police were already aware of Buckles because he is a suspect in a number of rapes and robberies that happened within blocks of where the woman in the Jan. 20 incident was attacked. 

On Nov. 6 last year, Buckles responded to an escort ad on a similar website, telling a woman to meet him at his apartment building where he allegedly brought her inside to a vacant apartment and held a knife to her throat while threatening to kill her.

The victim fought back and was able to escape, later warning about the man on the website and receiving responses from 12 women who said they had a similar experience. 

On Jan. 7, police responded to a report of a man dragging a screaming woman across 2nd Ave., just blocks from Buckles' apartment. The woman said the man held a knife to her throat and raped her in the back seat of her car, leaving behind a used condom. 

On Feb. 10, another incident within a block of Buckles' apartment was reported by a woman who said she was raped in a car. She arranged to meet a man who identified himself as "Terrell" through a dating app, and like the other assaults, the woman had a knife held to her throat before being raped. 

Another assault was reported on March 18, only this time the suspect used a gun to threaten the woman, who was told to record the sexual assault on her phone. 

That same day, police arrested Buckles in a car in the parking lot of his apartment. He was found with ecstasy pills in his pocket and wearing red Nike shoes that matched descriptions from victims.

Buckles, already on probation in Anoka County for two aggravated robbery convictions, has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct while armed with a dangerous weapon, first-degree aggravated robbery, and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon for the Jan. 20 and Feb. 10 incidents, in addition to being held on probable cause for the Mar. 18 incident.  

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