News

Net tightens around suspected serial rapist

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Pierce County prosecutors were still considering Tuesday filing charges against a 26-year-old man who has been charged twice in King County for allegedly raping women in two separate attacks –– one in Federal Way.

Tacoma Police and Pierce County Sheriff investigators have been trying to determine if the man is the suspect in two attacks in that county.

A teenage girl in Fircrest, a city near Tacoma, reported that on Aug. 31 she was raped by a man in her bedroom while her mother was in the house. Then on Oct. 9, a man got into a Tacoma home through an unlocked door and subdued three women in their 20s. One of the women was sexually assaulted.

Anthony Casper Dias, who formerly lived in the Federal Way area, has been in Pierce County’s jail since Nov. 12 after he was shot fleeing a Federal Way apartment on Nov. 8 where two teenage sisters girls were repeatedly raped while their mother was bound.

Dias pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned Nov. 22 in a King County courtroom.

Last week, the King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng filed two more charges of first-degree rape and first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment in connection with a case in Des Moines. Detectives with that city’s police department were able to link the case to Dias from cigarette butts left at the scene and DNA evidence taken from him following his capture.

Charges in the Federal Way case were filed quickly to keep Dias in jail, said Dan Donahoe, a spokesman for Maleng.

While Dias was behind bars, investigators from the law enforcement agencies in King and Pierce counties had more time to go back over evidence and statements to see if there was a connection to him. The victims in the Federal Way attack were able to identify Dias after he was in custody.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Oct. 31, Dias allegedly was able to get inside the Des Moines apartment, where six family members were living, after knocking on the front door. He hid in a storage closet outside the door and jumped out when the front door was opened, according to police.

He forced the family members at gunpoint to lay face down on the living room floor. According to court records, he confiscated their cellular phones and disconnected the apartment telephone. He bound all the family members, including a toddler, with duct tape, authorities claim.

He allegedly then demanded money from the family and forced two sisters –– 24 and 20 years old ––- to give him more than $2,500 the family had in the apartment.

Then, Dias allegedly over the next several hours he raped each of the two women repeatedly at gunpoint.

After Dias allegedly left the apartment, the women were able to free themselves with a pair of scissors he left for them. According to court papers, he allegedly threatened to kill the family if they reported the crime.

The family spent the night together in the living room armed with kitchen knives and reported the crime the next day.

As Des Moines Police detectives learned more about the case, they saw connections with an earlier attack near Federal Way and two attacks in Pierce County. Des Moines investigators compared information with their colleagues from the other agencies. When Federal Way Police caught Dias on Nov. 8, investigators were able to compare a DNA sample with the evidence from the Des Moines case.

Court papers also revealed searches Dias’ vehicle and home turned up a handgun and clothing similar to what was reported by the victims.

Test results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab determined the likelihood another person would share the same DNA as 1 in 28 quadrillion.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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