On Thursday, August 16, Charlottesville and Albemarle police confirmed that, using DNA, they have genetically linked Nathan Antonio Washington to sexual assaults in the Willoughby subdivision and at Webland Drive. These incidents are two of seven sexual assaults that police have linked through DNA to a single person, though officials have taken great care not to explicitly name Washington as the serial rapist.
In the early hours of August 13, area police arrested an Albemarle County man in connection with two sexual attacks. Nathan Antonio Washington, 40, was arrested in his Abington Crossing apartment at 1:05am. Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo declined to comment on why the arrest took place in the middle of the night, saying only that it was "without incident."
Local media trumpeted the arrest as a break in the 10-year serial rapist case, even before Monday’s 4pm press conference, where Longo and Albemarle Police Chief John Miller shot down any questions about DNA evidence linking the two attacks to the seven others police believe were committed by the same man. Both Longo and Miller would only say the Washington was a “suspect” in the other attacks.
Washington has been charged with attempted rape, breaking and entering with the intent to commit rape and attempted sodomy in Albemarle County. He faces charges of rape and breaking and entering with the intent to commit rape in the city. According to area police, Washington was arrested after Task Force detectives conducted surveillance of his residence for more than 24 hours.
Reports of the arrest came via the Internet early Monday, some with contradictory information. Washington’s age was given as 40 and 47, while there were reports that the arrest occurred after 4am. Despite an announcement at the press conference that Washington’s mug shot would not release, a mug shot of a man said to be Washington appeared along with Internet stories before the press conference.