Alleged Philly serial rapist may have struck elsewhere

District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office intends to charge alleged serial rapist Kevin Bennett with multiple counts of rape and stalking.
PHOTO: Jack Tomczuk

An alleged serial rapist arrested Saturday in Indiana assaulted three women over a four-day span in Philadelphia and may be connected to attacks in half a dozen other states, authorities said Monday.

Kevin Bennett, 28, of Indianapolis, is also accused of stalking three other local women, following them in a gray Dodge Charger without a license plate, before abandoning the chase.

In one case, he raped two women at gunpoint after posing as an electrical worker, according to investigators.

The six incidents occurred between May 15 and May 18. Bennett’s pattern was stalking dancers, bartenders and other female strip club employees, said Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann, who heads the department’s Special Victims Unit.

Kevin Bennett. PHOTO: Police

Six states in the South and Indiana, as well as at least one other county in Pennsylvania, are also looking at Bennett as a possible suspect in rapes connected to strip clubs, authorities said.

“This is a predatory rapist,” District Attorney Larry Krasner told reporters Monday, describing Bennett as “incredibly dangerous.”

Prior to the attacks, it did not appear that Bennett had any ties to Philadelphia, according to Burgmann.

The spree began May 15, when Bennett allegedly followed a bartender from Sin City Cabaret Nightclub in South Philadelphia to Delaware County. Her boyfriend met her at home, and the Dodge Charger was spotted leaving the area.

After leaving Delilah’s in Center City on May 16, a woman noticed a car following her as she drove home to West Norriton. She eventually stopped at a Wawa and called police, authorities said.

Several hours later, at around 5 a.m., Bennett allegedly approached a woman sitting in her car at 11th and Ontario streets in North Philadelphia and pulled out a gun.

He forced her into an alley and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said. She appears to be the only victim not connected to a nightclub.

On May 17, Bennett, investigators said, tracked a woman from the Oasis Club in Southwest Philadelphia, following her so closely in his Dodge Charger that he was able to get through the security gate of the apartment’s parking garage.

She quickly left the building and dialed 911, according to police.

In perhaps his most brazen attack, Bennett allegedly stalked three women last Tuesday after they left Cheerleaders in South Philadelphia.

Surveillance video shows him getting into their apartment building on the 900 block of N. 8th Street in North Philadelphia by sliding in alongside other residents, according to police. One of the three women saw him sneaking around and ran screaming into a neighboring unit, investigators said.

Hours later, just before 10:30 a.m., he returned to the apartment, appearing to work for an electric company. Two of the women were home at the time, and he allegedly raped both at gunpoint.

Branwen McNabb, of the District Attorney’s Office, speaks Monday, May 24, about the investigation that led to the arrest of alleged serial rapist Kevin Bennett.

Branwen McNabb, who leads the DA’s family violence and sexual assault unit, said the three victims who were attacked identified Bennett.

Surveillance footage was another key to the investigation, Burgmann said, and information from FBI agents in Memphis also helped authorities narrow in on Bennett.

The DA’s Office is planning to charge him with multiple counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, stalking, burglary, robbery and weapons violations.

Bennett is a convicted felon, Krasner said, though he would not elaborate on the details of his criminal history. More information is expected to come out in court proceedings.

FBI agents in Indianapolis had Bennett under surveillance for 36 hours before arresting him Saturday afternoon. They recovered two guns, including one matching a description provided by the Philadelphia victims, authorities said.

It’s not clear when Bennett will be extradited to Philadelphia. He is facing charges in a separate case in Indiana.

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