Police: 'Ski-Mask Rapist' from cold case caught at SC beach

Jerry Lee Brooks (Source: SBPD)
Jerry Lee Brooks (Source: SBPD)

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTV) - A man is behind bars for a series of rapes that occurred almost 33 years ago, according to police.

In December of 2011, the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit became aware of a series of rape cases from 1979 that were all similar in nature.

Investigators in 1979 had referred to the cases as being the "Ski-mask Rapist Cases." Although the cases were investigated extensively, no suspect was ever named.

During the course of the investigation, police found that there was DNA evidence available in several of the unsolved cases from 1979.

That evidence was submitted to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Laboratory for DNA analysis.

Police say that based on those results, it became clear that the cases were all linked, and identified Jerry Lee Brooks, 62, as the suspect.

The Sexual Assault Unit then began attempting to locate all of the victims or anyone else that could help them in prosecuting the cases, according to police.

The case was presented to a Mecklenburg County Grand Jury on June 25, 2012, and in all, 13 indictments were handed down against Brooks.

After CMPD's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team Unit began searching for Brooks, he was located in Surfside Beach, SC.

He was arrested early Tuesday afternoon.

Brooks has been charged in three of the cases from 1979.

The charges against Brooks include three counts of rape, two counts crime against nature, one count of burglary, two counts of breaking and entering, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of kidnapping.

He is being held at the Horry County Jail and is awaiting extradition.

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