Omaha police are investigating whether the city has a second serial rapist in addition to its two alleged serial killers.
A 27-year-old Omaha man was charged Monday in connection with an August 2012 sexual assault in northeast Omaha.
Christopher A. Ennis was in the Douglas County Correctional Center awaiting his initial appearance on first-degree sexual assault charges in connection with an incident near 24th and Wirt Streets.
Brenda Beadle, chief deputy Douglas County attorney, said prosecutors are awaiting DNA test results to see if there is a connection between the August 2012 attack and two similar rapes of women in the same area of northeast Omaha. One occurred last week; the other occurred in 2012.
According to a warrant for Ennis' arrest:
About 3 a.m. Aug. 24, 2012, a 37-year-old woman was walking south on 24th Street when a man walking north greeted her. She said she ignored the man and kept walking south.
The next thing she knew, she was grabbed from behind by the neck and dragged behind a house near 24th and Wirt Streets. Her attacker ripped her shirt, then pulled off her pants, ordered her to bend over and raped her. The woman described her attacker as 5-foot-7, 195 pounds and with short hair.
More than a year later, shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2013, another Omaha woman told police she was walking to her home near 20th and Maple Streets when a man drove up in a gold or tan Pontiac Grand Am. The woman said the driver got out, grabbed her, dragged her back to the car and threatened to kill her.
He drove to a secluded area near 27th and Wirt Streets and pulled her out of the car by her neck. The man began choking her with his arm — at which point the woman bit his arm.
She then lost consciousness and awoke to find she had been sexually assaulted.
The woman described her attacker as 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, 180 to 200 pounds, and with short hair.
The woman was able to describe the Grand Am and that it had dealer plates and in-transit stickers.
Two days later, officers found a Grand Am with in-transit stickers parked near 24th and Sprague Streets, nine blocks north of Wirt.
An officer made contact with the driver — Ennis.
Police then showed a photo lineup of possible perpetrators to both women. The most recent victim could not make an identification. However, the first victim identified Ennis as her attacker in August 2012.
Investigators obtained a cheek swab from Ennis to compare his DNA to evidence collected from the two women and a third possible victim.
Details of the third possible assault, which occurred in 2012, were unavailable Monday.
Ennis has little criminal record. After being charged with felony theft from Home Depot in 2010, Ennis completed a diversion program for first-time offenders, and charges were dropped.
He is expected to make his first appearance in Douglas County Court this week.
Meanwhile, Omahan Anthony Vaughn is awaiting trial on charges that he sexually assaulted five women from 1999 to 2009.