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Montgomery County Police arrested Marion Edward Pearson Jr., 65, on charges of rape and sexual assault incidents that took place in Silver Spring in April and June of 1981, police said in a Tuesday news release.

In March, detectives from the Cold Case Unit: Alyson Dupouy and Tara Augustin as well as forensic specialists from the County Crime Lab’s Biology Unit, identified the open case from April 1981, and submitted DNA evidence collected from the incident for further testing. 

In October, Pearson, Jr., of Durham, NC., was found to be a DNA match, according to the police.

Pearson, Jr. was a Prince George’s County resident who frequented the University of Maryland College Park area, police said.  He had previously been arrested on numerous occasions for charges including assault and indecent exposure, between the years of 1980 and 1999, police stated.

He had also served 22-years in a North Carolina prison for a series of first-degree rapes, for which he had been released in 2020, the MCPD news release stated.

According to police, the first incident took place on April 20, 1981, when Pearson Jr. was living in Prince George’s County. A woman was assaulted and raped around the 1800 block of University Boulevard West in Silver Spring. Police collected DNA evidence from the incident.

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Police stated that on June 13, 1981, a second victim was also attacked and sexually assaulted around Connecticut Avenue near Denfield Road in Silver Spring, with a similar suspect description and pattern.

Using the DNA match and the two similar cases, officials got an arrest warrant for Pearson Jr., and charged him with “first-degree rape, false imprisonment, robbery, and assault for the April 1981 rape and attempted first-degree rape, false imprisonment, and assault for the June 1981 assault,” the MCPD news release said. He was then arrested on Monday, in coordination with Durham County’s Sherriff Department.

According to police, Pearson Jr. is currently awaiting extradition to Maryland.

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Because Pearson Jr. has had a long history of committing crimes both in Maryland and North Carolina, police said they believed there may be more victims.

The MCPD urged anyone who believes they may be a victim or those having any additional information about the suspect to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Police said callers may choose to remain anonymous.  

Court records did not currently list any attorney information for Pearson Jr.

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Apps Bichu reports on growth and justice. She can be reached at apps.bichu@bethesdamagazine.com