HOUSTON - Investigators with the Houston Police Department say a serial rapist is off the streets.
Investigators identified the suspect Thursday as 24-year-old Jorge Arturo Mar. They are not releasing a booking photo of Mar so other victims can identify their attacker.
Police say Mar used his own picture on social media and dating apps, making it easier for them to identify him as the suspect. They say Mar lured women into his car and assaulted them in remote locations.
Investigators on Wednesday shared several case details with KHOU as they continued to look for other victims.
Lt. Jacinda Gunter with HPD’s Adult Sex Crimes Unit says their investigation has already linked the suspect to at least eight victims.
Investigators connected the dots after three victim sex assault kits taken from two Houston victims and one Harris County victim turned up the same DNA evidence. Soon after they realized their suspect was meeting his victims online.
“He was able to trick them into going with him to where he could get them alone and sexually assault them," Gunter said.
Investigators say the suspect used multiple social media sites and dating apps to lure his victims but, unlike many other serial rapists, didn’t do much to hide his identity, using his real picture and a name close to his own.
“Probably somebody that you would trust and think you could get to know and date," Gunter said. "Once he met with them, that’s when he turned on them. He didn’t give them a chance again. It was the first-time meeting. He got them alone, and he was able to get them and sexually assault them.”
According to Gunter, Mar was arrested Wednesday on a pocket warrant but expects several serious charges, including aggravated sexual assault, to follow soon.
“It’s really exciting when you catch someone like this," Gunter said. "You feel really good about what you did, that you are getting justice for a victim, and that you’re putting someone away that’s not going to be able to hurt a woman again.”
Gunter says sexual assault is never the victim’s fault and encourages victims to come forward and report an assault as soon as possible. She also recommends following through with a sex assault kit to collect DNA evidence.
Millions of people use dating apps every day. Here are a few simple ways to reduce any risk of assault, according to HPD:
- Meet during the day in public or at a place with good lighting
- Tell at least one friend where you’re going and who you’re meeting
- Be responsible for your own transportation
- Stay sober
- Run a background check