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Archive for Friday, December 23, 2005

Police: Escaped rape suspect had outside help

December 23, 2005

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— A serial rape suspect who escaped from jail by climbing through a ceiling vent and rappelling down the side of the building on tied-together bed sheets appeared to have outside help and used tools that had been smuggled in, the city's police chief said Thursday.

"This is a conspiracy. This was hatched over about three months," Chief John Timoney said.

Reynaldo E. Rapalo, 34, and another inmate broke out of a Miami-Dade County jail Tuesday night by crawling through a vent in the ceiling of a sixth-floor cell, officials said.

Rapalo is accused of sexually assaulting seven girls and women in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood in 2002 and 2003. He had been awaiting trial in February, and could get life in prison if convicted.

The other inmate, who was also charged with sexual assault, was captured after he broke his legs when he jumped.

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