ST. PETERSBURG — Both women were ambushed in the dead of night. Both were led away at knifepoint. Both were raped again and again by their attacker — and one was five-months pregnant.
Neither woman knew the attacker.
On Tuesday, police identified their attacker as Anthony Dontrail Rose, 20, of St. Petersburg. He was arrested on two counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon and one count of false imprisonment.
The attacks occurred within a month of each other, police said. When detectives showed each victim a series of mug shots, police said, they both picked out Rose. Police said he didn't wear any kind of mask during the attacks.
"There's no indication that he tried to hide his identity," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.
The first attack took place about 1:30 a.m. March 10. A 19-year-old pregnant woman was walking home after an argument with her boyfriend. She called a cousin, who doesn't have a car, to meet her at 22nd Avenue S and 16th Street to walk her home.
The victim never made it. When she reached 14th Street, a man appeared behind her with a serrated 8-inch steak knife, police said. He led her into an abandoned apartment, repeatedly assaulted her and held her for about an hour before leaving.
The second attack took place about midnight April 4, police said, when a man approached a 47-year-old woman as she was cleaning outside her apartment. He forced her inside at knifepoint.
Rose is accused of repeatedly assaulting the woman and holding her captive for three hours, police said. He cut the side of her face and throat with the same kind of knife reportedly used in the first attack. When he left, police said, he stole the victim's jewelry box and cell phone and gave her this warning:
"Wait 30 minutes before you leave," he reportedly told her.
Rose was arrested without incident, but police would not say what led them to him. He denied the allegations. But this latest arrest was the sixth time Rose has been arrested in little more than a year, according to state records. The charges included aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, animal cruelty, resisting an officer with violence, drug possession and DUI. But most of those charges were eventually dropped.
Rose, of 4510 13th Ave. S, was being held without bail Tuesday at the Pinellas County Jail.
Jamal Thalji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8472.