Police arrest serial rapes suspect near Denver

/ Source: The Associated Press

A man believed to be the convicted rapist who slipped away from officers in November after confessing to another assault was captured Friday after attacking a woman and stealing her car, police said.

The man was taken into custody in Glenwood Springs, about 150 miles west of Denver, according to Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman. He was being held on $25 million bail early Saturday.

Authorities were working to confirm his identity, but Whitman said they were “pretty confident” they had the right man.

Brent J. Brents, 35, is suspected in the sexual assaults on five women and girls earlier this month in Denver — nearly three months after he was questioned by police in Aurora about claims that he inappropriately touched a former girlfriend’s 8-year-old son.

Aurora police interviewed Brents about the allegations Nov. 23, and he told officers the boy was telling the truth. An arrest warrant wasn’t issued, however, until Jan. 26.

Aurora Police Chief Ricky Bennett said Brents was allowed to leave after his confession because additional investigation was needed.

“Our goal, again, is to achieve a successful prosecution here, not to make a quick and hasty arrest,” Bennett told a news conference Friday.

5 new attacks alleged
This month, Brent allegedly attacked five women, including two 11-year-old sisters and their 67-year-old grandmother. Women aged 29 and 44 were also attacked in separate incidents, according to an arrest warrant filed Friday in federal court.

“He is a repeat sex offender and pedophile who doesn’t differentiate between men and women, boys and girls,” Whitman said.

The woman attacked Friday was in serious condition, police said.

Whitman said a cell phone stolen in Friday’s assault helped lead to the capture. “We were tracking the victim’s cell phone up through (Interstate 70), notified the (State Patrol) and local jurisdictions that the car, or at least the cell phone, was on its way up there,” he said.

Brents was released from prison last July after being sent to the state hospital for about three years and then to prison for 14 years for raping a young boy and a girl.

Karen Steinhauser, who prosecuted Brents for two rapes in 1988, said she put together a deal in 1988 in which Brents pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to one of the rapes so he could get treatment.

“The whole intention was to get him off the street for a very lengthy period of time. And during that period of time, the intention was also to get him help,” said Steinhauser, now a professor at the University of Denver Law School.