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Rock Hill man charged in Winthrop sexual assault, break-ins

Authorities have arrested a 24-year-old man they believe is responsible for astring of burglaries and one sexual assault around the Winthrop Universitycampus in recent months.

Wayne Johnson of 820 W. Main St. has been charged with four counts offirst-degree burglary as well as charges of armed robbery, damage toproperty and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a newsrelease from the Rock Hill police.

Johnson was arrested late Thursday when police say he entered a house onEbenezer Ave Extension through an unlocked kitchen window. A woman in the homesaid she was upstairs when she heard noises downstairs and went to see whatcaused them.

The woman saw the intruder coming in through window above the sink, therelease stated. When the man saw her, he fled. The woman called police andminutes later officers found Johnson, who matched the description, therelease stated. He was arrested after a short foot chase.

Because Johnson fit the description of the suspect in a series of similarincidents, police compared evidence from those cases, according to aWinthrop University news release.

Those cases include one in December where a female student was assaulted inher residence hall room by an intruder and a burglary and sexual assault inOctober at an off-campus sorority house. In each incident, the victims saida man came in through unlocked doors or windows.

The release quoted Winthrop Police Chief Frank Zebedis as saying Johnsonworked for a campus contractor about a year ago. He didn’t work there long,but left on good terms, the release said.

Police are sending an e-mail to students to notify them of the arrest.

See Wednesday's Herald for more.