Update: Triple Rape Arrestee Lived with Grandmother’s Friend

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A convicted sex offender was arrested in Canarsie on Monday, charged with three rapes in the last 15 days. He split his time between two homes, and attacks were reported in both neighborhoods.

A police sketch of the suspect. Picture: NYPD.

A police sketch of the suspect. Picture: NYPD.

UPDATED: Saturday, 5 p.m.

A sex offender stands accused of raping three Brooklyn women in the past 15 days, police said. He was always home by nine.

Dexter Bell, 23, who lives in Crown Heights, was arrested and charged with rape, sexual abuse, robbery, assault and criminal sex acts Thursday night, cops said. A phone call to Crime Stoppers led to his arrest, they said.

Bell lived with his grandmother, but spent the last three weeks sleeping at the home of Marie Simpson, her 80-year-old friend. Officers were waiting inside Simpson’s 85th Street home in Canarsie for Bell’s arrival on Thursday, Simpson said.

His Jamaica-born grandmother lives close to Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights, Simpson said, the neighborhood where two of the rapes occurred.

Bell was on parole, police said, following a three and a half year prison sentence for the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl on December 17, 2008. He would leave Simpson’s home around 7:30 a.m. every day, she said, and return for his 9 p.m. curfew.

“Knowing him as a child, I feel sorry for him,” Simpson said on Saturday. “He’s such a decent-looking, quiet boy. I can’t believe he did these things.”

Police released a surveillance video of the third incident, showing the suspect dressed in camouflaged clothing. But Simpson says she never saw Bell wearing that.

The suspect allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl in southern Crown Heights, police said, on April 4 and April 11 respectively. He’s also accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in Canarsie on April 11.

Dexter Bell, a registered sex offender and parolee, was arrested on Thursday night. Picture: NYPD.

Dexter Bell, a registered sex offender and parolee, was arrested on Thursday night. Picture: NYPD.

“In each incident, the suspect engages the victim in a conversation and lures them to an isolated location where he rapes them,” police said.

Outside the Christian Church of Canarsie on 89th Street, a block from where the second crime occurred, community members feared for the health of those attacked.

“Rape is an awful affront to women that often leads to permanent injury,” said Fred Nurse, 65, a volunteer at the church’s food pantry. “Thank God the rapist was caught. I join in prayer for the many victims who had heinous acts perpetrated against them.”

Others were relieved by news of an arrest, but warned against complacency.

“Knowing there was a rapist in my area doesn’t make me feel good,” said Carol Benjamin, 47, the church’s deaconess. “But it makes me feel better to know someone’s been caught.”

“I hope that the police department and citizens continue to be vigilant,” she added.

The first crime happened around 9 p.m. on April 4, close to Albany Avenue and Fenimore Street in Crown Heights. A 25-year-old woman was drawn into a parking lot and raped, police said.

On April 11 at 8 a.m., near to Remsen Avenue and Farragut Road in Canarsie, a 19-year-old woman was coaxed into a private driveway and raped, cops said.

At 8.15 p.m. the same day, close to Midwood Street and Schenectady Avenue in Crown Heights, a 15-year-old girl was lured to the sixth floor of a nearby building and raped, police said.

A teenage girl, who lives across the street from Simpson, was alarmed to hear about the incident.

“I’m nervous and shocked, but relieved he’s been caught,” said the girl, who asked not to be named. “It’s really scary knowing that he lived across the street.”

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