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Man held in 4 sex assaults in Kensington

Police have charged a 31-year-old man with sexually assaulting four women in knifepoint attacks in Kensington last month.

Police have charged a 31-year-old man with sexually assaulting four women in knifepoint attacks in Kensington last month.

Marcos Camacho was pulled over by police Tuesday night, hours after officers in the Special Victims Unit announced they were searching for a man matching his description and that of his car.

Investigators initially said they were looking for a suspect in the attacks of three women, but the District Attorney's Office said on Thursday Camacho was also charged in a fourth assault.

Camacho was ordered held on $1 million bail at his arraignment Thursday. Authorities said he was an undocumented alien but would not elaborate.

The assaults took place along the Kensington Avenue corridor, where police said so-called "Kensington strangler" Antonio Rodriguez preyed on women last November and December.

Rodriguez was arrested in January and is awaiting trial in the deaths of three women. Police say he has confessed to the killings.

The recent investigation began Nov. 14, after a woman told police she was sexually assaulted after she got into a man's car on Kensington Avenue near Somerset Street. On Nov. 22, two more women told police they were attacked several hours apart in the same area.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the fourth alleged attack, but court documents indicate it occurred Nov. 17 and involved an indecent assault.

On Tuesday, police traced the car to Camacho, who is said to live in Norristown, and brought him in for questioning.

In addition to three counts of rape, Camacho is charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault, unlawful restraint, possession of an instrument of crime, and related offenses, according to court records.

His next court appearance was scheduled for Dec. 22.

When police searched for Rodriguez last year, they initially faced a challenge in gathering information. Many who frequent the neighborhood are involved in drugs or prostitution, said Philadelphia Capt. John Darby, head of the Special Victims Unit, and they can be hesitant to approach police with information.

Some victims may not report crimes out of fear they will be arrested, Darby said, and come forward only after learning of other victims.

"We've shown over and over again that we're ready, willing, and able to investigate every single one of these cases," Darby said.