Police: Man Arrested In Wis. Linked To 3 Philly Sex Assaults - My9 New Jersey

Police: Man Arrested In Wisconsin Linked To 3 Philly Sex Assaults

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Robert W. Palen, 38, of Middleton, Wis. (Dane County Sheriff's Office) Robert W. Palen, 38, of Middleton, Wis. (Dane County Sheriff's Office)
8th District rape suspect sketch (Philadelphia Police Dept.) 8th District rape suspect sketch (Philadelphia Police Dept.)
PHILADELPHIA -

A Philadelphia native has been linked to a string of violent, unsolved sexual assaults locally after being arrested in Wisconsin, police there say.

Robert W. Palen, 38, of Middleton, Wis., is charged with sexually assaulting a woman he had recently met online. Police in the city of Madison say DNA was entered into a national database after the December arrest.

Last week, they say, a Philadelphia detective contacted them to say there was a DNA match between Palen and one assault, and he's suspected in two others.

Palen reportedly moved to Wisconsin from Philadelphia in 2013.

He's being held at the Dane County Jail on charges that also include strangulation and suffocation, battery and disorderly conduct.

He has not been charged in the Philadelphia cases.

Those three local attacks occurred in the city's Torresdale section between 2010 and 2012, which is when police released a sketch of a possible suspect and asked for the public's help to identify him.

At that time, police said the circumstances in the three cases were similar: women in their 20s accepted rides from an unknown man; twice the man drove a white pickup truck; the last time he had a blue van and identified himself as "Rob" or "Bob."

FOX 29 News has placed a call to Philadelphia police seeking comment.

Stay with FOX 29 News and MyFOXPhilly.com for more on this developing story.

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