By Jim Melwert and Anita Oh
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Looking solemnly ahead, accused serial rapist Dejohn Christian Lee, 19, had no comment for Eyewitness News as Delaware County authorities walked him to a waiting car for arraignment.
But at a press conference Thursday, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan did not mince words describing Lee’s alleged years-long crime spree.
“This individual would stalk women, he would terrorize women,” Whelan said.
The timeline of attacks is extensive. Authorities say the first on record happened on the 1900 block of W. 7th Street of Chester in July 2014, when Lee was just 16-years-old. But they allege over the past three years, he violently attacked at least nine women.
“He would rob them, he would rape them, he would force them to have oral sex,” said Whelan.
In all cases, the district attorney says Lee preyed on these women who were walking or distracted, pulled a gun, and dragged them to a secluded area where he then attacked. Some of the attacks happened in broad daylight.
On March 2, 2016, authorities say Lee assaulted a county children and youth services employee, who was waiting at a SEPTA stop, then shot her in the head when she tried to fight back. That woman survived.
In another case, authorities say Lee took nearly $150 from the victim after raping her and said, before fleeing, that he would kill her if she got up before counting to 200.
“It’s a shame!” said Wayne Jones, who lives near the 900 block of W. 7th Street, just one of several addresses where Lee occasionally stayed.
“I can’t take the law in my hands but it’s disgusting that a human being could drop this low,” Jones added.
One of Lee’s alleged victims told police in December 2016 that a man raped and robbed her on the 500 block of Pennell Street in Chester around 10 a.m.
She called police again a few weeks later after reportedly recognizing Lee as her attacker while coincidentally seeing him inside the Shoprite in Eddystone.
“She had also indicated she had heard his voice and wasn’t sure but thought it was him,” Whelan said.
Police arrested Lee on firearms charges and soon after linked him to the previous attacks using DNA evidence and witness statements.
But authorities say one of the biggest challenges is the backlog in DNA and rape kit testing.
A crime lab had Lee’s DNA for nearly a year before they were able to test the results and match them to some of these cases.
In his arraignment Thursday, Lee told the judge he does not have an attorney. He faces a multitude of felony charges, including attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
Officials fear this is likely just the tip of the iceberg and they’re asking anyone who either knows something or believes they may be a victim to come forward and call Chester Yownship police at 610-494-0211.