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Police in Paterson, N.J. say two recent sexual assaults have been linked to a suspect, and are investigating whether he may be behind a third assault. Gus Rosendale has more.
The man wanted in connection with two knifepoint sexual assaults on teenage girls in Paterson has been apprehended by US Marshals, police said Thursday.
Rafael Velez, 42, was located at Broad and Market streets in Newark at about 3:40 p.m. Thursday. He was arrested without incident.
Velez is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of robbery in the two sexual assaults on Market Street in Paterson.
Authorities say 42-year-old Rafael Velez has been on the run since they tried to corner him in a textile factory where he works on Market Street and later surrounded his home as they sought to question him in the cases.
Police said a 19-year-old victim came forward this week and told them an attacker forced her into a building on the 100 block of Market Street at knifepoint around 6 p.m. Monday and sexually assaulted her. She told police the suspect threatened to kill her family if she called authorities.
Velez served 15 years in prison on charges including sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping, weapons possession and making terrorist threats, according to Department of Corrections records. He was released in January 2012.