Deputies: 'Serial rapist' confessed to attacks - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: 'Serial rapist' confessed to attacks

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Rodney Davis Jr. and the initial suspect sketch. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Rodney Davis Jr. and the initial suspect sketch. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)
Deputies walk Rodney Davis Jr. out of the sheriff's office following his arrest. (Sept. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina) Deputies walk Rodney Davis Jr. out of the sheriff's office following his arrest. (Sept. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina)

Deputies said they have arrested a man who confessed to a rape and two other attacks in Spartanburg County who is also believed to be behind other assaults in the Upstate.

Spartanburg County deputies charged Rodney Maurice Davis Jr., 19, of Chesnee with criminal sexual conduct first degree and burglary first degree in Spartanburg County related to an assault that happened Aug. 17 at the Newport Apartments on Jeff Davis Drive.

That woman told deputies that she answered a knock at her door and a man forced his way into her home and sexually assaulted her. About a week later, deputies released a sketch of the man who they believed was responsible for the crime.

SLIDESHOW: Sheriff warns of 'serial rapist' in Upstate

Since the Aug. 17 assault, investigators said there were two other attempted kidnappings in Spartanburg County. Then a second rape was reported in Cherokee County last week.

That's when Sheriff Chuck Wright said after looking into the cases they believed there was a connection. Investigators said they believe Davis is connected to seven cases in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties.

Following his arrest, deputies said Davis confessed to the three Spartanburg County crimes but showed no remorse.

Deputies say suspect confessed to Spartanburg attacks

In addition to the Aug. 17 rape, deputies said Davis confessed to threatening a woman at the Coin Laundry on Boiling Spring Road on Sept. 3 and then trying to kidnap a woman outside of Bangkok Cafe on Boiling Springs Road on Sept. 20.

Deputies said during the laundromat attack, the victim was getting into her car to leave when Davis allegedly approached her, asked if she was single and when she said yes but was not interested in him, he grabbed the driver door and jumped on top of her inside the car while holding a gun to her head.

The woman told deputies she was able to push the gun away as he threatened to kill her, then he fled into a car and left.

In the Sept. 20 attack, deputies said the woman was talking on the phone outside of the restaurant when Davis allegedly knocked her down but she screamed and kicked him, causing him to leave before she was almost kidnapped.

Tips from public, investigators' hard work led to arrest

Wright said there were no criminal indicators connected to Davis. A SLED background check turned up no arrest information on Davis.

Wright held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the investigators' efforts that led to Davis' arrest. He said his investigators, with the help of Cherokee County deputies and the State Law Enforcement Division agents, worked day and night to investigate leads in order to bring justice.

He said they received many helpful tips from the public that led to identifying Davis as their suspect. Davis was arrested at his home Tuesday morning, but Wright did not have any other details about his arrest yet.

Wright said the sketch of the suspect was accurate. It looked like a "portrait of this fella," Wright said while holding up a photo of Davis.

Some of the tips and leads that investigators received from the public included Davis' license plate number, a description of him, a possible name and more, according to Wright.

Wright went on to encourage both men and women to do whatever they can to protect themselves, including getting a concealed weapons permit, taking a hand-to-hand combat class, getting pepper spray or mace, walking in groups and always staying aware of your surroundings.

Davis' first court appearance has not been scheduled as deputies continue to work on warrants.

Deputies say suspect connected to Cowpens attack

Spartanburg County Sheriff Steve Mueller told FOX Carolina they had their warrants signed for Davis on criminal sexual conduct first degree.

"We are very excited," said Mueller. "I hope females will be a little bit at ease."

Davis is wanted in connection with the Sept. 17 rape of a woman at her Cowpens home. Cherokee County deputies said they will extradite Davis once his Spartanburg County charges have been dealt with.

Mueller went on to say residents still need to remain guarded.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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