‘Serial rapist’ accused in 1981 Charlotte sex assaults

‘Serial rapist’ accused in 1981 Charlotte sex assaults
Johnny Ealey

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man accused of sexually assaulting multiple women in Charlotte in 1981 is facing charges after a break in a cold case.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced Friday that 64-year-old Johnny Ealey has been served indictments. He faces charges on two counts of rape and two counts of burglary, although police believe there are more victims.

The alleged assaults happened in the summer of 1981 while the suspect was visiting his father in Charlotte. Police say several burglaries happened in the Beatties Ford Road area where victims were awakened and sexually assaulted with a knife.

“We know that he’s committed others," police said. "He used a knife in his assaults.”

One of the victims is dead, police said. The other victim was “ecstatic” to learn that Ealey had been caught. Both victims were strangers, according to police.

On May 6, one of the victims woke up after the suspect entered her home with a knife, police say. She was sexually assaulted and her phone line was cut after the incident.

One month later, another victim was asleep in her home when the suspect who had a knife woke her up. She was sexually assaulted while the suspect used the knife as a threatening force, according to police.

“He did not know them and they did not know him," police said Friday.

Police say they utilized DNA technology that was not available in 1981, retesting the evidence in 2014 and 2016.

He’s out of prison and is currently jailed awaiting extradition.

“They were all relatively close together,” police said of the sex assaults. “We know he’s done five here. We know that. We suspect more," police said.

Police ask anyone with information about the two cases or other sexual assaults to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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