RAPE SUSPECT FLEES
Reynaldo Elias Rapalo, a 34 year old Honduran man, was ordered held without bond on September 21, 2003, in Miami after he was charged with sexually assaulting several women and girls, one just 11 years old. He was charged with five felony counts of sexual battery, including one on a victim age 11 or younger. He also was charged with one count each of battery with assault and aggravated stalking, as well as several misdemeanor charges related to the attacks. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.
For months police had characterized the assaults as the crimes of a single serial rapist, and their inability to catch him had worried women and parents of young girls in the Little Havana area, where seven girls and women have been raped during the past year. DNA evidence linked him to all seven attacks, one victim was 79 years old.
Police said, Rapalo broke out of a Miami-Dade County jail on December 20.
Police were hunting for Rapalo yesterday after he escaped from jail by crawling through a ceiling vent and then climbing down from the roof using tied-together bedsheets.