Los Angeles police detectives have arrested a 46-year-old man they believe is a serial rapist suspected in as many as nine assaults, including several in which he posed as a police officer, officials said Friday.
Leon Ellis Jr. of Torrance was charged this week with two sexual assaults, in April 2001 and last month, both in Los Angeles. But detectives said they expect further charges.
Det. Jesse Alvarado said DNA evidence from the final attack matches evidence from seven other assaults dating to 1999. The other cases include attacks on women in Greater Los Angeles and in Chicago, where Ellis lived in 2004, Alvarado said.
Police said the victims were offered or accepted work as prostitutes or strippers, then were lured to motels or other locations. In at least three of the cases, investigators allege that Ellis told the victims he was a police officer and would arrest them if they did not comply with his demands.