DALLAS — A national Black sorority is urging alumnae in the Dallas area to make changes from putting away their key chains to refraining from wearing clothing linking them to the group after several rapes that appeared to target members.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. issued the warning this week after being notified by authorities of a series of four sexual assaults in communities north of Dallas. Law enforcement officials say the victims are all Black women in their mid-50s to mid-60s and are associated with the same sorority alumnae group.
“We believe it’s more than just accidental,” said Coppell police Deputy Chief Matthew Kosec.
Law enforcement officials say that, during the assaults in the victims’ homes, the suspect indicated he knew information about them.
“Since receiving news of these incidents, our primary concern has been the safety of our members,” said Cynthia M. A. Butler McIntyre, national president of the sorority, in a statement.
She said that, while it has not been confirmed that the victims were targeted “because of their affiliation with the sorority, we are erring on the side of caution and are advising our members in the Dallas area to take the necessary precautionary measures.”
In its statement, the sorority said members in the Dallas area should remove items identifying them as sorority alumna from their cars, key chains, homes and offices. They should also stop wearing any clothing or accessories that identify them as members in addition to removing personal information like their whereabouts from social media accounts and make sure their homes are locked and secured.
The suspect is described as a Black man in his late 30s to mid-40s, 5’7″ to 6′ who weighs between 250 and 300 pounds.
The most recent attack was Oct. 14 in the small community of Shady Shores, Corinth police said. Coppell police said an attack occurred there Sept. 15. The other two assaults took place in Plano—one in April and another “prior to that,” said Plano police spokesman Andrae Smith, who would not elaborate on the earlier date.
Smith, who noted that the victims did not all attend the same college, said Plano investigators noticed the similarities after the second attack and shared the information with surrounding cities.
“The pattern of the alumnae membership was the big flag that put this together,” Kosec said. “When you have a sexual assault like this the detectives are very good about getting all sorts of details that could lead to the suspect.”
Delta Sigma Theta is a public service sorority made up of more than 200,000 mostly Black college-educated women. Seventy-six percent of the group’s members are alumnae, while 24 percent are still in college. The group has more than 900 chapters located around the world.