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Man suspected in string of stranger rapes arrested, police say there could be more victims

Police think there could be more victims.

A man suspected of raping at least three women over the past three months has been arrested.

The 38-year-old man, who hasn't been charged, was arrested around 1 p.m. Tuesday and was booked into the Ramsey County Jail, according to jail records.

He is the suspect in at least three rapes, which happened on Oct. 25, Sept. 22 and Aug. 30, KARE 11 reports. In each incident, the suspect is accused of forcing the women into his van at gunpoint and raping them.

Steve Linders, a spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department, told the Pioneer Press at least two of the cases "are clearly stranger rapes," and it's possible there are other victims.

Forensic scientists used DNA evidence to link the suspect to the three rapes, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said. And now police are trying to figure out if the suspect is linked to any open rape cases in the city, or if he has more victims who haven't reported the incident to police, KSTP says.

If you think you may be a victim, you're asked to call police at 651-266-5685.

Sexual assault in Minnesota

There were 186 reported forcible rapes and 19 assault to attempt rape reports in St. Paul in 2015, according to the city's annual crime report.

In the entire state, there were 2,300 registered rapes last year (that includes both rape and assaults to attempt rape), the most recent Minnesota Uniform Crime Report shows. Of those, 2,179 were reported as completed, while 121 were attempted rapes.

Most of the time a victim is raped or sexual assaulted by someone they know, information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows. (This is also the case for other nonfatal violent crimes like robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault.)

Of all the nonfatal violent crimes committed by strangers in the United States from 2001 to 2010 (the most recent data available), rape or sexual assault accounted for just 2 percent, the agency says.

RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) breaks down how victims of sexual assault and rape know their attacker, finding 21 percent of sexual assaults are committed by a stranger. Click here for more information.

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