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Published: Friday, 7/27/2007

DNA leads to arrest of rape suspect in Findlay; eyeglasses left at scene also helped I.D. accused

Artressia Artressia

FINDLAY A man has been arrested after DNA evidence pointed to him as the suspect in several home invasions, assaults, and rapes that occurred in Findlay and Upper Sandusky, starting 12 years ago, police said this morning.

Charles H. Artressia, 48, of Findlay, was arrested late yesterday afternoon and charged with aggravated burglary and rape for a December, 2004 home invasion and rape on North Cory Street in Findlay, officers said.

The man was also linked through DNA to three other crimes a rape during a home invasion in August, 1995 on Spring Street in Upper Sandusky, a home invasion and assault on Park Street in Findlay in April, 2005, and a home invasion and assault in June, 2005 also on North Cory in Findlay.

Officers said that a pair of bi-focal Medicare prescription glasses recovered from the scene of the latest incident helped them identify the suspect. The Findlay police had received a court order for information on males fitting the general description of the suspect who received Medicare benefits at the time of the incidents. Media coverage of that court order led to several tips on potential suspects.

William Spraw, Findlay chief of police, said at a press conference this morning that the incident for which the suspect is being arraigned later today in Findlay Municipal Court occurred near the University of Findlay campus.

He also said that though the cases were old, the arrest of the suspect has been a relief for the community, especially in the campus area.

Chuck Wilson, detective lieutenant with the Findlay police, would not discuss how Artessia picked his victims or whether he knew them. He did say all of the victims were adult females, ranging in age from young to elderly.

In the two cases that did not involve a rape, the man struggled with the female victims, the police said. Artressia has extensive criminal history in Wood County, where he has been convicted of felony theft, burglary, and receiving stolen property, according to Detective Wilson. Up until yesterday's arrest, however, the suspect had no history of sexually-related charges or convictions.

Artessia is being held in the Hancock County jail until his arraignment later today.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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