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Man located, charged with brutally raping a homeless woman

The woman needed emergency brain surgery after the 2017 attack.

Authorities have located a DNA match to the man who brutally beat and raped a Twin Cities homeless woman in 2017. Liban Mohammed Dahir, 26, of Brooklyn Park, has been arrested and charged in connection with the assault. 

According to the charges, the incident happened in the early morning hours of April 16, 2017. 

A 46-year-old woman told police she had been raped and beaten in a parking ramp near Cedar Avenue in St. Paul. The victim said she had decided to sleep in the ramp since she missed her curfew at a homeless shelter and awoke to a man punching her in the face. 

The charges say the man covered the woman's face and threatened to kill her with a knife if she looked at him. As she struggled to get free, charges say the man kept "punching her in the face and repeatedly slammed her head into the concrete floor." 

Then the report says he raped the woman, stole her phone, ran off, and threatened to shoot her if she looked at him. 

When police arrived at the scene, the victim described the man as a slender, lighter skinned black man in his late teens to early 20s by the sound of his voice. She was transported to a local hospital, examined, and swabbed for DNA. 

During the examination, the woman fell into critical condition due to a subdural hematoma and needed brain surgery to repair multiple brain bleeds, authorities say. 

A DNA match two years later

Despite investigations, officials were not able to locate a suspect until October 2019 when police in Massachusetts alerted St. Paul police that the DNA of a suspect in a burglary case matched the suspect in the St. Paul rape case. 

The DNA match, Dahir, had also given Massachusetts authorities a St. Paul location as his home address. 

Upon learning about the DNA match, the St. Paul investigators learned that Dahir was back in Minnesota and on probation in Ramsey County for an unrelated crime. He was arrested November 5 and swabbed for DNA. According to officials, the DNA results matched those from the 2017 rape case.

According to the release, Dahir told police he did spend time with homeless people in 2017 but denied ever raping anyone or having sex in a parking ramp. He admitted to drinking and having sex with women, but denied recognizing the victim when shown a photograph, officials say. 

Later in the interview, authorities say Dahir claimed he did have sex with the victim in a bathroom at a house party but didn't know how she got injured. 

Dahir has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.  

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