Identity of accused serial rapist released
A man accused of being a serial rapist was captured in Benton Harbor on September 2nd and a week later they released his identity. 41-year-old Marcus Stewart is accused of raping three women and attempting to rape a fourth in Benton Harbor.
Stewart was booked in the Berrien County Jail for home invasion, criminal sexual conduct, and being a parole absconder in Indiana. Police said more charges are pending.
According to the Dan McGinnis, the Acting Director of the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, the first rape was reported in mid-August.
On September 1st detectives at the Benton Harbor Police Department said they had a meeting to discuss their current cases and they discovered that all four victims had the same description of the suspected attacker.
McGinnis said, “Each victim just generally described as being attacked from behind, two were in open areas, there was one home that he broke into that’s ultimately the first one he was charged on.”
Neighbors are upset because they believe the public should have been alerted to a possible rapist in their area when the first one was reported.
Eddie Jackson said, “They never tell us too much of nothing down here. That’s why I think this happened the way it happened.”
Jackson lives on Lincoln Street where Director McGinnis said the suspect broke into a home and sexually assaulted a female.
McGinnis said, “There is a misconception that we knew it was this guy three weeks ago.”
McGinnis said he chose to not tell the media initially about the investigation because he didn't want the suspect to run.
McGinnis said, “Because we knew he was on parole in Indiana he could be gone in the wind when word gets out.”
McGinnis believes more tips from the public could have helped police catch the suspect sooner.
McGinnis said, “When we started investigating, and canvassing, we were in a neighborhood that people said 'We saw a suspicious guy following girls all day’ so we said why didn’t you call the police? They said ‘We just didn't."
Stewart was arrested at the Soup Kitchen in downtown Benton Harbor and he's scheduled to be in court on Friday.