Inmate ID'ed in 1990s serial rape spree

Oct. 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A man imprisoned for raping his girlfriend's daughter has been identified as a serial rapist who terrorized St. Paul, Minn., in the 1990s, police say.

Lavern Robert Spann, 41, has been charged with three rape cases from the 1990s that put the city's Summit Hill neighborhood on edge because the perpetrator broke into homes to assault his victims, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.

The newspaper said investigators always knew the same man committed all three rapes, perpetrated over a two-year period between 1993 and 1995, but didn't have a suspect until DNA evidence led them to charge Spann.

Prosecutors say Spann was convicted in 2005 of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's 16-year-old daughter, who claimed he had been molesting her since 1995 when she was seven. When Spann entered prison four years ago, he submitted a DNA sample that was used to connect him to the unsolved rapes, the Pioneer Press reported.

Police say they are reviewing whether other cases could be linked to Spann.

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