Friday, July 06, 2007

A serial rapist was caught after he text-messaged his 15-year-old victim and asked the terrified girl if she wanted to see him again

John Lauinger:

Alvin Henry is park-rape suspect

That text message, and DNA hits, led cops to Olympic sprinter Alvin Henry, 33, who was arraigned last night on charges he raped or sexually molested five women in three Brooklyn and Queens city parks since 2003.

Cops credited the traumatized 15-year-old, who was raped April 27 in Prospect Park, with helping crack the case.

"She was afraid for her life, so she pretended - acted - as if the assault was consensual," a police source said. "He believed it and texted her - hoping to see her again."

Instead, the young woman called cops. Cops tracked the predator's cell phone use to Coney Island and Prospect Park, but no name was attached to the disposable cell, sources said.

It was only after a 34-year-old woman was raped in Prospect Park on June 15, and DNA samples matched a Queens rape, that cops linked the multiple attacks.

Police connected the two Brooklyn assaults to a June 11 rape in Roy Wilkins Southern Queens Park in Jamaica and to two Queens sexual attacks in 2003, one in the Roy Wilkins park and one in Baisley Pond Park. A suspect sketch done in 2003 looked remarkably similar to one done in 2007.

As cops staked out the parks early Sunday morning, they spotted a man who matched the sketches lurking near Parkside and Ocean Aves. The 15-year-old Prospect Park victim, riding with another team of detectives, identified Henry as her attacker.

Three other victims, and one of the women's boyfriends, picked Henry out of lineups, sources said.

Cops believe Henry targeted women who were having a romantic interlude with their boyfriends in city parks.

Henry allegedly told his 15-year-old Prospect Park victim he had videotaped her and her boyfriend and would put the images on the Internet if she did not go quietly.

The sprinter's own family considered him a creepy sexual predator.

"I'm not really shocked," cousin Tiffany Ottley, 17, told The News.

She said Henry was always making inappropriate sexual advances to members of his extended family.

"He'd say, 'Oh! you're sexy! I want to take you out.' I didn't want those types of comments from him. ... You try to stay away from him because being in the same room with Alvin is uncomfortable," Tiffany said.

Tiffany said Henry's grandmother, Diane Jobe-Springer, brought him to Laurelton, Queens, in 2003 because the sprinter, who represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2000 Summer Games, couldn't get a job in Trinidad.

But the family sent Henry packing that summer after he made advances toward a 12-year-old cousin.

"She said she was in the laundry room downstairs and Alvin said, 'Do you like me?' - the same line he likes to use," said distant cousin Mecca Springer, 18.

Henry returned to the United States this spring - and the sexual assaults resumed, police said. His passport travel dates coincide with the three attacks this year.

Former Olympian Confesses To Prospect Park, Other Rapes

Man busted in 3 rapes in Queens

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