Serial Rape Suspect Charged

Monday, January 24, 2011 - 1:37pm

Detroit police charge ex-convict in string of recent rapes.

A man paroled in 2009 after more than 10 years in prison for attempted murder was charged Monday with kidnapping and raping five women in Detroit since New Year's Day.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said DNA evidence linked the suspected serial rapist, 31-year-old Raynard Coleman, to six of the reported attacks on women between January 1 and January 14.

Godbee said there have been a total of seven attacks and one attempt.

The victims have ranged in age from 17 to 33.

Coleman is charged in five of seven rapes reported.

He is also charged with attempted rape.

All of the attacks happened about five miles from downtown Detroit, and in most cases, the victims were waiting for a bus or walking to or from a bus stop, Godbee said.

The rapist forces them at gunpoint to secluded locations where they are robbed and sexually assaulted.

"It is a different day in Detroit, " Godbee said, "if criminals think they do can these heinous things without repercussions - this is a city that it not going to stand for it".

The charges against Coleman range from kidnapping to armed robbery and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Coleman's defense lawyer James Galen Jr. said he was told his client was picked out of a lineup, but he wasn't certain who identified him.

Galen said his client told investigators he wasn't involved in the assaults.

He said he had met twice with the man since his arrest last week and that they haven't discussed specifics of the case.

He also met Saturday with ten of the man's family members and a pastor, and they prayed together.

"The family feels empathy, sympathy and concern for the victims and are confused and baffled about the allegations that have been made against their loved one," he said.

During a news conference Monday, Godbee said, "We're so relieved at the work that the community did. This was a collaborative effort. This case exemplifies when community and police work together we are a tremendous force."

When a reporter commented the suspect's lawyer maintains Coleman's innocence, Godbee responded,

"In this great country of ours you are innocent until proven guilty. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has signed on six of the seven cases. To that extent, he will have his day in court."

Coleman has been on parole since his release from prison in 2009 for attempted murder and other crimes.

His maximum sentence would have kept him in prison until fall 2015, said John Cordell, a spokesman at the Michigan Department of Corrections.

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