Newburyport police seek suspect in sexual assaults

Newburyport police are seeking a suspect in a string of sexual assaults against females in that city in the past four months — the most recent against a juvenile on Monday night, police said.

The assaults have escalated in severity and seem to involve the same perpetrator, Newburyport police said in a statement Thursday.

Beginning in June, five women have been violently attacked in four separate assaults, police said. City Marshal Thomas Howard said the attacks were isolated, and there was no suspected connection between the perpetrator and victims.

“This is a dangerous sexual predator who targets women with increasing audacity and violence, even striking women in well-lit areas and attacking two women at once in one case,” Howard said in a statement, as reported by the Boston Globe.

In each case, the perpetrator has been described as a white male in his 20s, around 6 feet tall, with brown hair, a normal build, and a skinny face, police said.

The following attacks have been reported:

– June 22, 2014: A 20-year-old woman was attacked and groped on Merrimac Street while walking home at 10:30 p.m.

– Sept. 9, 2014: A 23-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted around the same location as the June 22 assault, while she was walking home from the downtown area.

– Sept. 25, 2014: Two 23-year-old women were attacked and groped while walking from downtown area around 10:50 p.m.

– Nov. 3, 2014: A juvenile girl was attacked and sexually assaulted near the intersection of High Street and Summit Place around 9:30 p.m.

Police urged anyone with information on the attacks to call them at 978-462-4411.

“Newburyport continues to be a safe community, and the police department is working aggressively to identify and apprehend the individual behind these incidents,” Newburyport Mayor Donna D. Holaday said in a statement.

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