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New Orleans police arrest serial-rape suspect

The Times-Picayune,
BYLINE: Leslie Williams, The Times-Picayune
Link to Article

New Orleans, LA

2010-11-02_Int_New Orleans police arrest serial-rape suspect
Sgt. Emelda Blanco, left, and detective Vernon Hayes, right, escort Jimmy Spratt, 36, into central lock-up after Spratt was extradited from Tennessee on sexual assault charges stemming from three separate attacks in 1994. Michael DeMocker, The Times-Picayune

The sex crimes section of the New Orleans Police Department on Tuesday arrested a 36-year-old man suspected of three sexual assaults in 1994.

Jimmy Spratt was identified by a DNA match, officer Shereese Harper said.

Charges against Spratt include aggravated kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, aggravated rape and armed robbery.

"Spratt became a suspect ... in 2005 when he was arrested in Tennessee for unrelated sexual assaults on several women there. Upon being arrested, convicted and sent to prison in Tennessee, Spratt's DNA was collected as mandated by all new inmates," Harper said.

After his DNA was placed in a national database, Spratt's DNA was linked to three 1994 rape cases in New Orleans.

Spratt was extradited to New Orleans, Harper said.

The Sex Crimes section assigned cold case Detective Vernon Haynes the task of finding the New Orleans' victims from 1994. All three informed Haynes and Mary Glass of the Orleans District Attorney's Office of their intention to proceed with the prosecution of Spratt.

Police describe the three cases:

* July 4: A woman was using the ATM at a Hibernia Bank on Crowder Boulevard when a knife-wielding suspect walked up and forced her into her car. The suspect forced the victim to drive to the 11000 block of Old Gentilly Road. He sexually assaulted her there and took $50 before fleeing.

* Sept. 19: A woman was in the 4200 block of Loyola Avenue near her residence when a man approached brandishing a sharp weapon and held it to the victim's throat. The man forced the woman to walk down the street with him. He sexually assaulted her behind bushes.

* Dec. 26: A woman was using the ATM at a Whitney Bank at Plum Street and South Carrollton Avenue. The suspect approached the victim, maced her and forced himself into the victim's car. The man drove the victim to two locations, sexually assaulting her at each. He then drove the victim to a third location where he robbed her, maced her again and fled with the victim's keys.

Leslie Williams can be reached at or 504.826.3358.

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