Jeffrey Fields is a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of raping four Pennsylvania State University students over seven years.
Fields, of Port Matilda, was arrested Tuesday after he was identified through genetic genealogy, according to a statement from the State College Police Department. The 36-year-old is accused of assaulting the students from 2010 to 2017 in locations near the university. The victims were all female and aged 19 or 20, the release added.
Fields is now facing multiple counts of felony rape, sexual assault, involuntary
deviant sexual intercourse and misdemeanor simple assault, according to the department.
— State College Police (@StateCollegePD) July 21, 2020
Officials say the assaults occurred outside near fraternity row within a few of blocks from each other, court records obtained by WNEP show.
In one particular instance, the station indicated that Fields offered a victim a ride home while she was walking along South Burrowes Street.
Fields was employed in the State College area from the last third of 2010 to now, according to Statecollege.com.
He is currently being held at the Centre County Correctional Facility without bail, police announced in the online statement.
It is unclear if Fields has a lawyer.
Here’s what you need to know:
A 20-Year-Old Woman Reported a Rape in August 2010
Police disclosed in a statement that a 20-year-old woman reported Aug. 22, 2010 that she was raped near Apple Alley in State College.
In January 2011, a 19-year-old woman reported a rape near Fraternity row, while another 20-year-old reported three months later that she was raped near Fairmount Avenue and South Burrowes Street, the department continued.
Police were then called on July 16, 2017 by a 19-year-old woman who said she was raped near West Prospect Avenue and South Atherton Street.
Field’s DNA was Found During Each of the Four Investigations, Police Say
“DNA was collected during rape examinations performed at the time of each assault,” police said in the online release obtained by Heavy. “Those DNA samples were submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab which linked all four rapes to one unknown suspect. During the investigation process, the State College Police utilized Genetic Genealogy Screening to develop Jeffrey Fields as the suspect involved in the rapes.”
The method works by matching DNA samples with profiles from genetic testing companies for consumers, NBC said.
“The process has been used to crack dozens of high-profile cold cases from across the United States, including a former police officer in California who pleaded guilty last month to 13 counts of murder,” the outlet wrote.
NBC noted that Joseph DeAngelo, also known as the Golden State Killer, was caught by law enforcement through this same approach. The 74-year-old was accused of 13 murders and “dozens of rapes in the state between 1975 and 1986.”