Police tell court how they traced suspect in rape case
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Detectives investigating three rapes over three days in January 2012 were able to find their suspect using a combination of eyewitness testimony, a traffic camera and ATM video footage as well as tips from an anonymous caller and a man who was beaten and robbed.
Today will mark the fourth day of trial for Arthur Henderson, 39, who is charged with multiple counts of rape, robbery, assault and unlawful restraint.
He is representing himself against accusations that he raped three women -- one in Hopewell and two in Ross -- on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, 2012.
In addition, he is accused of attacking Paul Leung, with whom he played poker, early Jan. 10.
Mr. Leung told the jury Wednesday that he was attacked by a masked man about 5 a.m. as he returned to his home above the House of Lee Chinese restaurant on Ohio River Boulevard.
Mr. Leung said he was carrying about $7,000 as he was returning from the Meadows casino.
"As I turned around to try to shut the door, a person jumped behind me," Mr. Leung said. " 'Give me the money, and I won't hurt you,' " Mr. Leung quoted the man as saying.
After Mr. Leung heard the attacker speak, he said: "I know you. I know you."
That prompted the attacker to punch Mr. Leung in the face, knocking off his glasses. The suspect then beat Mr. Leung with a pistol, striking 12 to 15 blows.
Mr. Leung bit his attacker through his black gloves but could not fend him off.
"I said, 'OK, OK.' "
The attacker stole between $4,500 and $5,000 and fled.
"How did you know this person?" asked Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka.
"From playing cards," Mr. Leung answered.
He identified for police two possible suspects with whom he'd played poker. One was named "Black Art."
"For the record, did you see me rob you?" Henderson asked Mr. Leung on cross-examination.
"It looked like you. He was built like you, and he sounded like you," the witness answered.
Police eliminated the other man as a suspect after a relative of Mr. Leung's who saw the assault identified the attacker as black. The other man is white.
Ohio Township Detective Joseph Hanny, who investigated Mr. Leung's assault, said Pennsylvania State Police quickly matched the nickname "Black Art" to Arthur Henderson.
Later on the day of the mugging, Henderson used cash that prosecutors believe was stolen from Mr. Leung to buy two money orders to make a car payment on his dark blue Ford Expedition and to make an insurance payment.
The Ford Expedition had been identified by a witness at the Woodhawk Club apartments in Ross as possibly involved in the rape there on Jan. 7.
In addition, surveillance footage from the Rivers Casino shows the same type of vehicle following the first victim out of the parking garage the morning she was attacked.
Ross detectives also received an anonymous tip during their investigation that a man matching the description of the rapist with the same type of vehicle had lived at the Cascade Apartments complex in Ross.
While the jury was out of the room Thursday, Henderson asked that the judge allow him to call the three doctors who conducted the sex-assault examinations of the victims, calling them "very critical" witnesses.
Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel agreed to the request.
Ross Detective Brian Kohlhepp was the last to take the stand Thursday.
He testified that when he searched the inside of the blue Ford Expedition belonging to Henderson, he found a pair of thick, black gloves similar to those described by the victims, as well as the box the attacker was carrying during the attack at the Woodhawk Club apartments.
During his cross-examination of Detective Kohlhepp, Henderson repeatedly asked why the black gloves found in his vehicle were not submitted for DNA testing.
The detective repeatedly explained that after the DNA recovered from the victims was found to match Henderson, it was unnecessary for the lab to waste time and expense checking the gloves.
"There's no reason to pursue ancillary evidence when you already have the best possible evidence," Detective Kohlhepp said.
First Published February 8, 2013 12:00 am