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"Maintenance man" rapist gets 6 life sentences for attacking 5 females

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A man, posing as a repairman, raped five females including at least one child and an elderly woman in the metro Atlanta area – and managed to evade paying for his crimes for decades.

But on Wednesday, a Fulton County judge gave the 63-year-old six life sentences plus 140 years for his crimes, according to the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Daniel Wade was convicted Friday of numerous charges including: rape; aggravated child molestation; aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, burglary and robbery by intimidation in a series of rapes dating back 28 years, the district attorney's spokeswoman Ms. Yvette Jones said.

These rapes took place in 1986 and 1987 and were part of a larger investigation that possibly included 29 rapes in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett County, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Greg Lyon has said.

In Atlanta, five females ranging in age from 10 to 64 were raped in separate incidents, officials said.

The assaults dubbed the “Maintenance Man” rapes, occurred in apartments and investigators believe Mr. Wade had been working for one of those complexes along the I-85 corridor in northeast Atlanta, Sgt. Lyon said.

The string of rapes made numerous headlines in the middle to late 1980s as one by one, victims provide police with similar details about their attacker, according to media reports.

Still, the cases went unsolved with no fresh leads for nearly 20 years. Then in August 2007, the district attorney’s Cold Case Unit in conjunction with the Atlanta Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit revived the case and began a new investigation, Ms. Jones said.

The team linked DNA evidence from all five female victims from the 1980’s Fulton County rapes and three other victims from DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties to a single unknown suspect, she said.

In March 2011, investigators found a positive DNA match for those eight cases to an inmate serving federal prison time in Kentucky – Mr. Daniel Wade, Ms. Jones said.

After further investigation, Mr. Wade was indicted for the Fulton County rapes in September.

His sentence will run consecutive to a 20 year federal prison term he is currently serving, Ms. Jones said.

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