City worker charged in string of South Philadelphia sex assaults

Philadelphia police have announced charges in a string of recent string of alleged sexual assaults and robberies in South Philadelphia.

Safien Williams, 37, has been charged in four incidents, dating back as far as May of 2018.

"An arrest was made of a very violent predator who essentially terrorized an entire neighborhood," Commissioner Richard Ross said during a Tuesday morning press conference.

Williams is a city employee who works for the Philadelphia Streets Department and was hired in July of 2018, according to Commissioner Ross.

Last week, police announced they were searching for a man in connection with as many as nine different incidents since December 20, with the most recent occurring a Friday morning around 5 a.m. In that incident, police say the suspect followed a woman into her workplace and sexually assaulted her.

Investigators had said Williams produced a knife in a number of incidents and often struck his victims. He also appeared to be riding a bike in some of the incidents.

In another incident on 10th and Christian streets, a victim was asleep in her bedroom when a man appeared in the doorway and jumped into bed with her. She was able to get away.

Police believe Williams will be identified as a suspect in other alleged incidents as well, once DNA evidence has been processed.

Williams has been charged with three counts of rape and simple assault, and multiple counts of sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Commissioner Ross took time during Tuesday's press conference to commend the community for providing a "plethora" of tips that aided police in their investigation.

Once photos of a suspect were released, investigators say they received more reports of alleged incidents that police are now looking into as well.