Man suspected in east side rapes not first family member charged with sex assaults

The man suspected of several rapes on Detroit's east side is now charged with at least one of them.

Now we are learning that Darian Winfield is not the first member of his family to be charged with rape. Last summer FOX 2  told you about Darian Winfield's uncle - Durand Winfield.

Durand is a convicted sex offender accused of sex trafficking and raping other women. His case was dismissed, now Darian's family is hoping for the same.

"We were going to the precinct on Gratiot to clear his name," said Ellis Pace, Damian's mother. "Because (they) have the wrong person - that's not my son."

Convinced her son is innocent, last Friday Ellis Pace and other family members decided to drive Darian Winfield to the 9th Precinct. The accused east side serial rapist planned to turn himself in, but members of the US Marshalls Fugitive Apprehension team got to him first..

Viewer video captured the arrest on Harrell last week.

"I could not believe it," Pace said. "I really could not believe it. I still don't believe it. He said he didn't do it and I believe him."

This isn't the first time a family member has been accused of rape. Last summer Darian's Uncle Durand Winfield, a convicted sex offender, was charged with crimes ranging from sex trafficking to rape to holding his victims prisoner.

"He tried to murder me," claimed one of his victims in an interview with FOX 2 at the time. "He had me on the ground with one hand around my neck, He fired two shots next to my head, He raped my baby mother."

But the judge was forced to dismiss the case - because Durand Winfield's alleged victims chose not to testify. Durand Winfield remains a free man.

"I know those were lies," Pace said. "He loved his daughter, he would never do anything to hurt anyone."

Relatives feel the same about Darian, who attends high school and works at the job center. But investigators are building the case against him.. Sources say fingerprints link him to two of the sexual assaults on Radnor in Detroit.

On Sunday, Darian  was charged with one of the attacks.

Police also believe Darian is the man in a surveillance video  from December 13th. Investigators believe he followed a woman into Grosse Pointe Park, attacked and cut her on Cadieux. She was able to beat him away with her purse and he took off.

Two victims were able to provide descriptions of their attackers resulting in sketches that Darian's family claims looks nothing alike and nothing like Darian.

While police work to link Darian to more attacks dating back to mid- December, family members are waiting for the DNA results, which they believe will prove police have the wrong man.

"I love my son," pace said. "I want this to be over. Whoever did this to these young women, they should be caught."
 

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