Columbus Man Being Investigated For Multiple Rapes
He's a suburban husband and father with a good job.
Police say he's also a serial rapist.
Columbus Police call 51-year-old Darnell Banks a true predator, who may be involved in the rapes of as many as 10 women. Those who know Banks are in disbelief.
Police have asked 10TV not to show Banks' face because they are still showing photo line-ups to potential victims.
The say the Galloway father of five may have raped as many as 10 women.
"This guy is a predator in the truest sense of the form I think,” said Sgt. David Pelphrey of the Columbus Division of Police. “He knew how to pick his victims. He knew how to pick the spots. This was not just a sex crime of opportunity. These are assaults and attacks that were premeditated and well thought-out."
He is currently only charged in two cases, and the violent details were laid out in court.
One victim, investigators say, was taken to an abandoned west side home last October.
"...and held her at gunpoint,” read a court employee. “He held her in a vacant house and sexually assaulted her for several hours. Defendant threatened to kill her."
When she tried to escape, they say he hit her in the head with the butt of his gun.
On May 2, investigators say he grabbed a woman off the street near a West Columbus gas station.
"…suspect exited the vehicle and grabbed (victim), grabbed her around her throat which caused her to lose consciousness,” read the court employee. “(Victim) regained consciousness and defendant was on top of her."
Banks's neighbors didn't want to speak with 10TV on camera but said they are stunned and horrified by the accusations against him. They call him a nice guy, a family man, and a quiet neighbor.
Investigators say they're not surprised.
"When you get into the predatory type of crimes and the predatory type of behavior, I don't believe that there is a usual suspect,” said Pelphrey. "It can be anybody. It can be your next door neighbor."
Pelphrey says the investigation is ongoing, and in the category of previous serial rape investigations, like the "Campus Rapist" and "Linden Rapist". He says Banks was previously not in the DNA database.
That changed with his arrest this week.
"So it's entirely possible that we're going to start getting DNA hits on cases that we didn't even relate to him previously," Pelphrey said.
Pelphrey says these cases were scattered over different shifts, assigned to different detectives. He says it wasn't until one detective noticed a pattern and took a closer look that they realized they'd found an alleged serial rapist.
Investigators say once they get DNA results back, Banks will likely face additional charges.
Banks is at the Franklin County jail held on $500,000 bond.
10TV was not able to reach his family for comment.