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A state prison guard has been arrested and charged with kidnapping women from their homes and raping them, over the last five years.

John E. Kurtz, 43, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, was arrested Monday based on a DNA match between the forensic evidence at the crime scenes and his discarded cigarette butts, which had been collected by investigators, according to an arrest affidavit provided to Forensic Magazine.

There could be more victims out there, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

The three incidents include a kidnapping and rape of two women, and the attempted kidnapping of a third woman, according to the PSP report on the investigation issued this week.

The first incident occurred on Irish Valley Road in Shamokin on Nov. 9, 2012; the second started in a home on Schreck Road in Turbot on July 20, 2016; and the last happened this past April 23 on Cherry Town Road in Jackson, the investigators report.

“Kurtz would break into the victim’s residence(s), kidnap them, take them to another location and rape them,” they stated. “Kurtz was identified as a suspect through DNA evidence and digital evidence, which was collected through the execution of multiple search warrants and court orders.”

The first attack in 2012 did not result in a rape. The victim’s husband left for work, and Kurtz allegedly broke into her house, donned a Halloween mask, confronted her in the kitchen, and zip-tied her hands and placed a ball gag in her mouth. But she had apparently managed to work the gag out of her mouth and was eventually cut free without further sexual violence.

The 2016 rape provided the DNA that was matched to a cigarette Kurtz had discarded last Friday, while under surveillance by investigators, according to an arrest affidavit. The husband of that victim from last year’s attack worked at the same prison where Kurtz worked.

All three home invasions involved masks, zip-ties, blindfolds and gags, according to the report.

The Pennsylvania investigators had assistance from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, or BAU. It also involved assistance from the state’s Bureau of Forensic Services and Bureau of Criminal Investigation, in addition to aviation, electronic surveillance and computer forensic experts, they added.

“The citizens of Northumberland County and surrounding counties can rest assured tonight, knowing that a serial rapist has been taken off the streets and is securely housed in prison,” said the state police in a public information statement on the Monday arrest.

Kurtz is a guard at SCI Coal Township, a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections maximum-security facility, according to authorities. He has been suspended from his DOC job, according to the local accounts.

Kurtz is now being held on $1.5 million bail at the Centre County Correctional Facility. 

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