2012-09-26 / Front Page

Arrest made in rape investigations

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com

RODNEY MAURICE DAvIS JR. RODNEY MAURICE DAvIS JR. A manhunt in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties for an alleged serial rapist resulted in the early Tuesday morning arrest of a 19-year-old Chesnee man, authorities announced.

Rodney Maurice Davis Jr., whose address is listed as Whispering Oaks Court, Chesnee, initially was charged by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office with one count of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of 1st-degree burglary in connection with an Aug. 17 sexual assault at the Newport Apartments in Spartanburg.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office subsequently followed that up by signing an arrest warrant charging Davis with one count of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a Sept. 17 sexual assault that occurred at a Seminole Trail, Cowpens, home.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said additional charges are pending in Spartanburg County.

Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said he received a phone call from Wright early Tuesday informing him of the arrest. The two offices have been collaborating closely since the Sept. 17 incident in Cherokee County, which was very similar to the Aug 17 incident in Spartanburg.

During both incidents, a man forced his way into the homes and sexually assaulted the female residents. In the Cherokee County case, the suspect first knocked and asked to use a telephone and then allegedly forced his way inside with a handgun.

As soon as they were notified of the arrest,

Mueller said, “We put together a photo lineup and got it to the (Cherokee County) victim early this morning. We signed a warrant on him (Davis) shortly thereafter.”

Wright said during a Tuesday morning press conference that Davis confessed to the crimes in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties when questioned.

“When he says he’s done all these things and he writes it down for us, that’s as good as it gets,” Wright said.

Mueller said a detainer on Davis was sent by Cherokee County to the Spartanburg County Detention Center so his office can serve its warrant on Davis after he has dealt with the Spartanburg County charges.

Both Wright and Mueller lauded the hard work of the investigators, who had been working almost around the clock, as well as all of the tips that came in from the public.

And both sheriffs said the public shouldn’t let down their guard just because an arrest was made in this case.

“He’s been caught but you can never remind people enough that they have to be aware of their surroundings,” Mueller said. “Unfortunately, in today’s society, you never know when there will be a freak around the corner preying on women.”

Wright offered during his press conference, “Am I going to tell you that everything is perfect and women you need to relax? No I’m not going to do that ever.”

Wright added: “I still want you to get a CWP (concealed weapons permit) if you choose to do so. I want you to learn some hand-to-hand combat. I want you to get pepper spray or mace or whatever you can do to protect yourself. Walk in groups, check your cars, be very aware of what and who is around you at all times. That goes for guys too, but especially for women.”

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