SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Officials have identified a man they believe assaulted several women he first communicated with online.
Last week, officers with the Summerville Police Department arrested a man after several women throughout the area said they were victimized by a person they met on Backpage.com.
Among the reports, two women told officers they were sexually and physically assaulted, both being stabbed, in their encounter with the man.
The suspect was arrested Wednesday, Feb. 3. Officers asked anyone else who experienced similar situations to step forward, but wouldn't release his identity because they felt it could jeopardize the active investigation.
In one incident, the man now identified as Thomas Powell is accused of sexually assaulting a female escort at knife point multiple times on the morning of Jan. 9 at a home on Wainright Manor.
The incident report says they met up after he responded to an ad she placed on Backpage.com. According to the report, Powell took her purse and money before letting her leave. She left the scene with cuts on her hand and upper lip, according to the report.
In another incident on the same day, a woman told officers she met the man at his home after he got her phone number on Instagram and started messaging her. She said the suspect came at her with a knife when she entered his back yard. The report states she grabbed the blade of the knife, causing a laceration to her right hand. The suspect then ran away in an unknown direction.
Powell was charged with kidnapping for both cases. He faces an additional charge of first degree criminal sexual conduct, and a charge of assault with intent to commit first degree criminal sexual conduct.