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Suspect Arrested In Juniata Park Attacks

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By Walt Hunter, Steve Beck

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police and neighbors are expressing relief that the alleged “Juniata Park Rapist” is now behind bars.

Lt. Anthony McFadden, head of Special Victims Unit Special Investigations, says 25-year-old Byron Mitchell now faces multiple criminal counts including rape, kidnapping and robbery for attacks on three women, beginning on October 10th, in the area of Castor and Hunting Park Avenues (See Related Story).

One woman was raped, two others dragged into driveways at gunpoint before they were able to break free.

McFadden says the big break in the case came when two alert 24th District officers spotted Mitchell, a career criminal with an extensive arrest records, and thought he matched a composite sketch. A DNA sample provided a match, police say, and today Mitchell was brought from his cell at Graterford Prison, where he was being held on probation violations, and taken to the Special Victims Unit to be charged.

State Parole Board documents, obtained by CBS 3, reveal Mitchell was paroled after serving four years of a six-year term for armed robbery, released from prison under “supervised parole” on January 20th.

Among the reasons stated by the Parole Board in their decision to release the now accused rapist, “your demonstrated motivation for success.”

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