More cold-case sexual assault charges for ‘Fairmount Park rapist’ accused of 2003 rape and slaying

A man accused of slashing people with a large knife in recent weeks while riding a bicycle on a trail in Philadelphia and then charged in the cold-case rape and slaying of a medical student has now been charged in several other high-profile unsolved sexual assaults.

Elias Diaz, 46, was arraigned a week ago on murder, rape and other counts in the 2003 slaying of Rebecca Park. Police said Wednesday he has now been charged in three other cold-case assaults, two in Fairmount Park in 2003 and one in Pennypack Park in 2007. The new charges include rape, attempted rape, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault, and related offenses, police said.

Diaz was earlier ordered held without bail in Park’s slaying pending a Jan. 8 preliminary hearing. He had been held on aggravated assault and other counts in the attacks or attempted attacks in late November and early December, where police say he used a machete-type knife against people on the Pennypack Park trail.

The Defender Association of Philadelphia, listed as representing him in both the 2003 case and the recent attacks, said earlier there would be no comment on any current or possible future charges.

  • December 27, 2023
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