Serial rape suspect linked to 11 attacks on foreign vice girls
Gardai have arrested a suspected serial rapist who may have attacked 11 women in recent weeks.
The man was being held at Lucan Garda Station last night after three young women rep- orted that they had been raped by him at different locations across the country.
The rapes are alleged to have happened in Dublin, Portlaoise and Galway.
It is understood that apart from sexually assaulting the women, the attacker threatened them with knives, robbed them and beat them up.
The suspect is a Romanian national and he was arrested after a massive investigation involving the garda's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. The specialist unit was backed up by investigating officers from Clondalkin, Galway and Portlaoise.
It is understood that the alleged rape in Portlaoise happened just over a week ago. The others happened at earlier dates.
All the alleged victims are prostitutes who have been operating on escort websites.
It is understood that they are foreign nationals working in the sex industry here.
The suspect was arrested in west Dublin yesterday morning.
It is believed that gardai were able to make the arrest after gathering "excellent quality" CCTV of the suspect at three different locations.
DNA evidence has also been obtained by investigators.
Sources said gardai had planned a special undercover operation to arrest the suspect.
Officers have used a specialised computer system known as the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis system (Viclas) to determine if the alleged rapes are linked to one man.
Viclas was developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1990s to compare different crimes for similarities.
It is understood that the suspect was initially being questioned last night about the alleged rape in Galway.
Sources said gardai believe that there are at least eight other sex workers who have been raped but have not come forward to make a complaint.
In recent years, gardai have investigated a number of rape cases involving prostitutes, including an incident at a north Dublin hotel in 2012 when two sex workers were attacked.