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Summerville man accused of assaults arrested by Berkeley Co. Sheriff's Office

Source: Berkeley County Sheriff's Office Source: Berkeley County Sheriff's Office
DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

Berkeley County investigators say a Summerville man who had been released on bond for assaulting two woman he met on Backpage.com has been arrested again. 

Officials with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office say 28-year-old Thomas Michael Powell of Summerville was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. 

Powell was denied bond Tuesday night. 

"Powell is the same individual arrested earlier last week by the Summerville Police Department for sexually and physically assaulting at least two women in their jurisdiction whom he had met online on Backpage.com," BCSO officials said. 

According to the sheriff's office, based on information from one of their victims, Summerville detectives identified another of Powell’s victims.

"After interviewing the 26-year-old victim, Summerville detectives confirmed that she was another of Powell’s victims and ascertained the fact that the crime had occurred in Berkeley County," BCSO officials said. 

Authorities say detectives then contacted the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, and detectives with the Sheriff’s Office then assumed the investigation and obtained warrants for Powell’s arrest.

"Powell’s latest victim also stated that he first made contact with her online on Backpage.com," BCSO officials said. 

Powell was locked up at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

Detectives are requesting that anyone with additional information pertinent to this investigation contact their local law enforcement agency or Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111 or 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Last week, officers with the Summerville Police Department arrested Powell 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. 

Powell was first arrested on Feb. 3. At the time, 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,  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.

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