UPDATE: Charges filed in two decades-old rape cases

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office filed charges Friday in two decades-old rape cases.

48-year-old Raymond Ebel faces two counts of rape, two counts of burglary and one count of criminal deviate conduct.

In September 1987, Ebel allegedly broke into a home and woke a woman up who was sleeping on the couch. According to charging documents, he said he would kill her children if she wasn't quiet. He raped the woman and fled the scene.

A little more than a year later in November 1988, police say Ebel broke into another woman's home by removing a screen and storm window. When the woman woke up to her alarm clock, she saw Ebel standing in her bedroom door staring at her.

According to court documents, Ebel said, "Don't scream and I won't hurt you." The woman screamed and he responded, "I'm going to hurt you real bad." Ebel allegedly told the woman to remove her underwear or he would kill her. The woman told police he threatened and raped her before leaving.

In both cases, the women could provide police with few details about the suspect's appearance, only describing him as a white male. DNA samples were taken at the hospital and the scene, but no matches were found in the years immediately following the crime.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office says last year, the Indiana State Police contacted South Bend police about a possible match. They said the DNA taken from the scenes matched that of 48-year-old Raymond Ebel, who's currently serving a life sentence for the 1992 rape of a Niles woman.

In that case, Ebel was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny.

Court documents say Ebel forced his way into a home in Niles Township and raped a woman while her 5-year-old daughter was in the same bed. He also took money from the home.

The case initially went cold. But, in 2001, the Michigan State Police started doing DNA testing and found the samples collected at the crime scene matched the DNA of Ebel, who was incarcerated in Indiana at the time. It took more than a year for him to be extradited to Michigan to go to trial.

St. Joseph County authorities put warrants out for Ebel's arrest. They gave no timeline on how quickly he could go to court for the alleged crimes.

Police conducted follow-up DNA and fingerprint tests to confirm Ebel was the suspect in the 1980s rape cases.

He's also been convicted on several battery and burglary charges in Indiana. .

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