INDIANAPOLIS — A man arrested Saturday in Indianapolis is being investigated for his alleged role in a series of sexual assaults in nine states, including Indiana.
Kevin Bennett, 28, of Indianapolis, was arrested Saturday in connection with several warrants after hours of surveillance by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police.
The surveillance operation started Friday when a special agent with the FBI Nashville Field Office contacted special agents in Indianapolis to locate Bennett, according to a federal indictment. The agent was part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation.
In some of the cases, including at least one in Indianapolis and three in Philadelphia, Bennett targeted female employees at night and entertainment clubs, according to court documents and the Philadelphia district attorney.
The Philadelphia district attorney said Bennett is a possible suspect in similar crimes in several other states.
On April 2, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and detectives were called to an address on North Pennsylvania Street and found a woman bleeding from the back of the head and not wearing shoes when they arrived, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
The woman told the officers a man wearing a blue mask, black hoodie with a polo emblem and armed with a small silver revolver struck her several times in the back of the head with the pistol and she fell to the ground, according to the affidavit. The man then dragged her down the stairs and into a restroom where he sexually assaulted her and threatened her.
The woman told officers she is an employee at an entertainment club in Indianapolis.
A fingerprint on a condom wrapper used during the assault came back to Bennett, according to the affidavit.
Marion County prosecutors have charged him with three counts of rape, one count of kidnapping, one count of criminal confinement and one count of battery by means of a deadly weapon, according to charging information in the affidavit and online court records. No trial dates have yet been scheduled.
A man originally who was originally suspected in the incident, matched the description of the suspect and was located in the building by officers was arrested, but charges were later dismissed after detectives reviewed security camera footage, according to the affidavit.
On Monday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced he intended to charge Bennett with multiple counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, stalking, robbery and burglary, according to a press release from Krasner's office
Bennett is believed to be involved in at least six criminal incidents between May 15 and May 18 in Philadelphia, including a series of sexual assaults against at least three women, according to the release and ABC affiliate WPVI in Philadelphia.
In the three sexual assault cases, Bennett targeted the women by frequently visiting Philadelphia-area nightclubs and following them to their homes in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware counties, according to the release. He posed as a utility worker in one case to gain access to a location.
"This is a predatory rapist, who has committed other crimes as well, but this is a predatory rapist," Krasner said during a press conference Monday.
An FBI special agent from the FBI's office in Nashville contacted an IMPD detective in April about a similar incident involving a suspect and weapon matching Bennett and the weapon used in Indianapolis, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
On April 6, an exotic dancer was raped in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, according to the affidavit. A man with dreads left the scene in a red Cadillac with plates coming back to Bennett, according to the affidavit.
The alleged incident in Tennessee happened about four days after the alleged incident in Indianapolis.
The special agent told the IMPD detective they were working with several law enforcement agencies in the south about a man raping and robbing female dancers, according to the affidavit.
Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana
Bennett was wearing a gold and diamond tennis bracelet when he was arrested, according to the federal indictment. The bracelet still had a price tag with a UPC code on it.
Based on the description of the bracelet and attached UPC tag, law enforcement officers believe it is linked to a strong-arm robbery on April 5 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, according to the indictment. Bennett was identified as a suspect in that incident.
According to a Facebook post from the Hattiesburg Police Department, the suspect in the "grab-and-run" on April 5 at Kay Jewelers, is also believed to have been involved in incidents at Kay Jewelers locations in Slidell, Louisiana and Fultondale, Alabama.
Federal charges in the Southern District of Indiana
When Bennett was arrested on Saturday, law enforcement officers found two handguns, a semi-automatic pistol, and a revolver, according to the federal indictment. They also found 1.5 ounces of suspected methamphetamine and more than $14,200 in cash.
Bennett is facing federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and felon in possession of a firearm, according to the indictment.
These alleged incidents are still under investigation by several agencies. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.
- Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).
- Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit: 215-685-3264
- Hattiesburg, Alabama area Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP
- 24/7 WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence hotline: 215-985-3333
- Philadelphia Domestic Abuse Hotline: 866-723-3014