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Suspected rapist ID'd via DNA

NORCROSS -- DNA matches in a national database have linked a 27-year-old federal prison inmate to two separate sexual assaults on women near Norcross several years ago.

In both Gwinnett cases, investigators believe Jerson Antonio Gomez ambushed women he didn't know and raped them. DNA recovered from both crimes was entered into an FBI database called CODIS, which returned DNA "hits" earlier this month that linked Gomez to the crimes, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith.

Gwinnett detectives found that Gomez had been in custody since 2010 and was being held at the Robert A. Deyton Federal Detention Facility in Lovejoy. He'd been charged with similar crimes by authorities in Emerson, a town in Bartow County northwest of Atlanta, Smith said.

The first Gwinnett attack happened in December 2008, when a 28-year-old woman told police a Hispanic man armed with a knife approached her on Singleton Road near Norcross.

"The suspect attempted to rob the victim," Smith said. "When she told the suspect she didn't have any money, he dragged her to a wooded area and raped her."

The second attack happened the following month.

A 51-year-old woman reported that she'd come home to find a man armed with a pistol in her bedroom on Kay Drive. The perpetrator robbed and raped the victim in her home, Smith said.

DNA in both cases was a match to Gomez, Smith said.

Gwinnett detectives obtained warrants charging Gomez with kidnapping and rape in the first case and burglary, rape, false imprisonment and robbery in the second case.

Gomez's wrap sheet in Gwinnett includes only a 2009 arrest on DUI charges and traffic citations. He was living on Pirkle Road near Norcross at the time, records show.

Smith said additional cases are under further investigation.