Prince George’s County man arrested in series of rape cases

PALMER PARK, Md. — Prince George’s County Police have arrested a Bladensburg man who detectives believe committed at least two rapes, and might have been involved in two others.

James William Diggs was arrested on Friday afternoon in Waldorf shortly before police were about to put out a picture and ask for the public to assist them.

Police believe Diggs raped a woman on Wednesday evening and another one on Feb. 25.  They also call him a person of interest in two other rapes in September and October 2014.

“We’ve noticed a few commonalities.  The proximity of these sexual assaults that took place.  All of the sexual assaults occurred between 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. and all the physical descriptions that were given were similar in all the cases,” says Prince George’s County Assistant Chief Hector Velez.

He says the fourth incident finally gave detectives enough information to link the cases and get an arrest warrant.  On Wednesday, police say Diggs grabbed a woman from behind with a knife on the 3800-block of 38th Avenue in Cottage City.  Detectives allege that he took the victim into a secluded area, sexually assaulted her, then took her cell phone and identification and fled.  The woman flagged down a motorist and reported the crime to police in Mt. Rainier.

Police would not speculation on what physical evidence they have to connect all four cases.

“This individual preyed on young woman between 16 and 23-years old.  We believe he followed one or two on occassion.  He knew what he was doing.  He was very deliberate in what he was doing,” says Velez.

Court records show Diggs went to prison after committing an armed robbery in 1982, but did not have any new crimes since and was not on the sex offender registry or ever charged with sexual crimes before.

Police are not sure why there was a gap between the crimes in September and October and those in the last few weeks.  Police do not believe Diggs is a suspect in any other sexual assaults beyond the four either.

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