Fort Worth police arrest suspected serial rapist

08/27/2014 11:43 AM

08/27/2014 11:45 AM

Police are reviewing unsolved sexual assaults going back several years, after the arrest last week of a 51-year-old man suspected in half a dozen sexual assaults and/or robberies.

Terry Lynn Douglas, 51, was charged Tuesday with aggravated sexual assault by threat in one of the attacks — the Aug. 18 rape of an 18-year-old Arlington woman.

Police said Douglas is suspected in five other cases — three attempted sexual assaults and two robberies — that have occurred in the last month and is being looked at for possible connections to others.

“With the information we now have, sex crimes detectives are now looking over cases dating as far back as 2009 and they believe there may be more cases,” said Cpl. Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman.

In some of the cases, police said, the attacker asked his victim for a ride or engaged the victim in conversation.

“Often his M.O. (method of operation) was to ask for a ride, or ask for help or to ask if they were in the area looking for drugs or prostitutes,” Knight said. “The suspect is a known drug user himself.”

The suspect then said he had a gun and tried to sexually assault and/or rob the victims. Knight said some of the sexual assaults took place in vacant lots, vacant houses and wooded areas and involved male victims as well as females.

“The victims were usually in the area either lost or visiting friends,” Knight said.

Due to the varying accounts by the victims, police did not connect the cases until last Aug. 19, after the 18-year-old woman went to an Arlington police station near her mother’s home and reported she’d been sexually assaulted. An Arlington police detective took the woman to Fort Worth headquarters after learning the offense occurred in Fort Worth.

Before the Arlington woman’s case, police suspected two of the attempted sexual assault cases could be related, because of similarities, but they had no suspect.

Knight said that after interviewing the Arlington woman, sex crime detectives M. Maldonado and D.C. Donovan realized her story was similar to those in previous robbery and attempted sexual assault cases.

Robbery detectives joined the investigation and investigators identified Douglas as a possible suspect, Knight said.

The Arlington woman picked him out of a photo spread as her attacker and a warrant was issued for his arrest Aug. 20. He was arrested the same day and remained in the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $50,000.

Knight said police obtained a warrant for Douglas’s DNA for comparison to cases that have biological evidence.

Police have asked that the suspect’s mugshot not be released because of the ongoing investigation.

Tarrant County court records show he has a long criminal history in Tarrant County dating to 1989, including multiple convictions for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Lex Johnston, Douglas’s court-appointed attorney, refused to comment Wednesday on the case.

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