Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Man Arrested in Long Island Burglary May Be Serial Rapist Who Targeted Women on Queens Running Trail for Years

Police say DNA linked him to one rape, from 2013, and investigators are looking to connect him to five other sex crimes

A man arrested in Nassau County for an alleged burglary has been linked by DNA to a 2013 rape on a running trail in Queens, and authorities say he could be responsible for nearly a half-dozen other sex crimes on the same path since 2011. 

Mark Andrade, 46, faces charges in connection with the 2013 rape, and investigators are looking to match his DNA to the others, which all occurred on the trail in the 104th Precinct, NYPD officials said at a news briefing Thursday. 

The jogger in the 2013 case made a move that was crucial to linking Andrade to the attack.

"This one young lady struggled with him and pulled a beer bottle out of his back pocket and threw it," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce. "We retrieved that bottle as part of the crime scene and swabbed it and got the DNA and that's how we identify it. We have a young lady who helped us identify her attacker." 

In total, officials said they're looking to connect Andrade to five additional cases, all happening in the daytime. Sometimes a stun gun was used, police said. The first case in the pattern was in March 2011, when a 54-year-old jogger was attacked. In September of that year, a 13-year-old jogger was attacked.

The following August, police say someone attacked a 34-year-old jogger, and then three months later, they believe the same person sexually assaulted a 40-year-old woman walking her dog. The most recent sex crimes in the pattern were in March and August of 2013, when 24- and 69-year-old joggers were attacked, cops say. 

In 2015, police say they arrested Andrade for stealing copper from utility poles in Nassau County. After pleading guilty to those charges, his DNA was entered into a state database. Police say that DNA matched evidence lifted from the crime scene. 

Details on Andrade's alleged involvement in the Nassau burglary, weren't immediately available. His last known address was in Richmond Hill, Queens. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

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