Man charged with rape now linked to a fifth attack in Charleston
That’s how a 26-year-old Summerville woman described the scruffy man in a leather jacket who lured her to a dirt-covered field in Charleston and raped her twice on the night of Feb. 29, 2012.
She told police she’d chatted with the man in Marion Square and then accompanied him as he went looking for a pipe to smoke his crack cocaine. But when they ended up below an overpass at Meeting and Lee streets, the stranger grabbed her around the neck, pinned her to the ground and forced himself upon her, according to police reports.
Charleston police on Wednesday identified the accused as Nathaniel Wilson, a 47-year homeless man who had previously been charged in four other attacks on women on the peninsula.
DNA evidence tied him to the February attack, for which he is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, police spokesman Charles Francis said.
Wilson appeared in Charleston County bond court Wednesday afternoon, shackled at the waist and ankles. He wore a red-and-white-striped jail jumpsuit reserved for high-risk inmates. He cocked his head, stared hard at the people in the gallery and rattled his chains. But he had little to say during the proceeding.
Magistrate Linda Lombard told Wilson she was already quite familiar with his record and was exercising her discretion in denying him the opportunity to post bail.
Wilson, a registered sex offender after a 1982 rape in Richland County, has been jailed since August, when he was charged with attacking a 28-year-old woman he met on King Street. The woman told police Wilson forced her to walk with him around the city and fondled her multiple times over the course of four hours.
That ordeal ended at a convenience store when the woman mouthed the words “help me” to a clerk, who called police, authorities said.
In September, Charleston police charged Wilson again, this time in connection with an April 28 attack in which a woman was jumped from behind as she walked from a friend’s home on Line Street. Police said DNA samples linked Wilson to that attack as well.
Investigators charged Wilson again in October after they said they had linked him to a July 20 attack in which a woman was lured to an abandoned house on Line Street and raped, police said.
In November, he was charged in a July 22 incident in which a woman reported being raped at knifepoint by an acquaintance while having beers at her home, police said.
In the attack for which he was charged Wednesday, the woman initially refused to give police a written or recorded statement, according to police reports. Her mother told investigators she suffers from mental illnesses and abuses drugs, the reports stated.
When police asked the woman about her attacker, she told them, “You all know him.”
Later, however, she picked Wilson from a photo lineup and identified him as the man who sexually assaulted her, police said. She told investigators he was a predator who talks to women and tries to gain their trust so that he can rape them, a police report stated.
“(She) stated that her main purpose in originally reporting this was to prevent the subject from taking advantage of and raping other women,” the report stated.
The woman told police she too was scared to say anything when the rapist attacked her that night. When he finished, he accompanied her to a store so she could get some water to slake her thirst. Then, he took her back to the field and raped her a second time, a police report said.