Accused Serial Rapist Arrested in South Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have charged a man they say broke into the homes of two Charlotte woman and sexually assaulted them in 2016.

According to CMPD, Lance Rontavis Elam, 29, was arrested in Bluffton, S.C. after being accused of similar crimes in South Carolina. In a tweet Friday, CMPD said detectives didn’t have enough evidence against Elam to charge him in the two sexual assaults until his arrest in South Carolina.

On January 9, 2016, CMPD officers responded to a reported sexual assault in the 2700 block of Clemson Avenue in north Charlotte. When officers arrived, the victim told them that an unknown man broke into her apartment and forcibly raped her at gunpoint. The suspect then took cash from the home and ran from the scene. 

On August 7, officers responded to a reported sexual assault in the 8300 block of Runaway Bay Drive. A female victim told police that an unknown male suspect broke into her apartment and forcibly raped her before running from the scene. DNA evidence from both scenes matched samples collected at crime scenes in Midland, Texas and Bluffton, S.C. 

CMPD detectives began working in conjunction with authorities in Texas to develop a suspect in those cases. Elam was identified as a person of interest, but detectives were unable to locate Elam to collect a DNA sample. 

According to NBC affiliate WSAV in Savannah, Ga., Elam broke into a home through a window and sexually assaulted a woman in Bluffton. He was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree burglary in Beaufort County, Ga. He was arrested on April 28, 2017. DNA evidence from Elam matched both sexual assault cases from Charlotte and the burglary in Texas. 

After receiving confirmation, detectives obtained 16 total warrants on Elam. He has been charged with the following:

In connection with the Clemson Avenue assault: five counts of first-degree rape, four counts of first-degree sex offense, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree breaking and entering, first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. 

In connection with the Runaway Bay Drive assault: one count of second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree breaking and entering. 

Elam is currently being held in Bluffton, S.C. and no timetable has been set for his return to Mecklenburg County.

Anyone with information about these crimes or any other is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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