Philadelphia News & Search
Dejohn Lee was 16 years old when he allegedly began to prey on women in Chester, Delaware County.
The high school dropout would stalk his victims. Waiting until the women were alone, he would come from behind, grab them, and point a gun at their head or face before attacking or raping them, District Attorney Jack Whelan said on Thursday.
Lee, 19, of the 900 block of Seventh Street in Chester, has been charged with six counts of rape, two counts of attempted murder, and multiple counts of robbery, aggravated assault, and other related offenses in the attacks of nine women, he said.
Lee has confessed to the crimes, Whelan said. He also gave police other “vague information” leading them to believe there were more attacks.
Whelan said more charges would be filed if there are more victims out there.
He is being charged as an adult in all of the cases, said Whelan.
“Dejohn Lee is an individual that was a sexual predator that terrorized women in the City of Chester and Chester Township,” said Whelan, describing how Lee would sexually assault and rob women after pulling them into secluded locations.
On Jan. 6, Lee’s seventh victim was working in an Eddystone Borough grocery store less than a month after she was raped, robbed, and beaten unconscious, when she heard a familiar voice.
She picked up the phone.
At some point during the attack, the rapist, who had obscured his face, told her to count to 30 to give him time as he fled. Those few words were enough for her to recognize his voice a month later.
“The man is here in the store,” Whelan said she told police.
When police arrived at the store, they found him in possession of a loaded gun and drugs. He was arrested and jailed.
Investigators — with help from DNA, other forensic evidence and statements from witnesses and victims — would eventually link him to eight other victims, including a county Children and Youth Services employee who was shot March 2, 2015, in Chester.
On Thursday, he was arraigned on charges relating to three of his victims. He had previously been charged in the six other attacks.
Lee’s parents are both deceased. He has lived at a number of different addresses, dropped out of school, and was not working. He had a prior juvenile record, Whelan said.
According to police, Lee’s first attack occurred July 28, 2014, when he raped a women in Chester. Two days later he attempted to murder another woman, police said. He would commit another attempted murder on March 2, 2104 before he was incarcerated a month later on firearms offenses. He was released from jail on Oct. 2, 2015.
Suspected Serial Rapist in Chester
On Feb. 2, 2016, he raped another victim, police said. Three weeks later he was again arrested for firearms violations and jailed.
At that time police obtained a DNA sample that was sent to the Pennsylvania State Police lab for analysis. By then Lee was considered a suspect in the rapes, but results from that DNA sample were not received until after his arrest in January.
“Unfortunately, that is the time it takes to get results,” Whelan said. “We didn’t have enough evidence at the time.”
According to the district attorney’s office, Lee was released on June 27, 2016. The next rape occurred on Sept. 27, this time in Chester Township. His sixth alleged attack occurred on Nov. 23, 2016.
On Dec. 11, 2016, came the seventh victim — the cashier would later call police after recognizing his voice.
On Dec. 18, Lee would attack and rape another woman, and on Jan. 2, 2017, he attacked another woman in Chester, police said.
Four days later, Lee was arrested by Eddystone Police.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Chester Detective James Chubb at 610-447-8433, county Detective Michael Jay at 610-891-4700 or Chester Township Police at 610-494-0211.
Philadelphia News & Search