Daniel Messel, 51, was convicted of murdering IU student Hannah Wilson.
The man convicted of killing a 22-year-old Indiana University student earlier this year is now facing rape charges in a separate case after investigators discovered similarities in the two crimes.
Daniel Messel, 51, is already serving an 80-year sentence for murdering Hannah Wilson in August 2015 just weeks before her college graduation.
Her bloodied, badly beaten body was found in a vacant lot roughly 30 minutes from the Blomington, Ind., campus and a chunk of her hair was found in Messel’s car.
Now Messel is charged with rape, criminal deviate conduct and several felonies stemming from the September 2012 attack of another 22-year-old Indiana University student.
The woman came forward to tell investigators there were “eerily similar” details in Wilson’s murder case.
The victim said she wound up in a stranger’s car in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, 2012 after a night of partying, according to court documents cited by the Indianapolis Star.
The man drove her into a wooded area and yanked the woman out of the car by grabbing her hair, then forced her to give him oral sex. He punched her in the face so hard her contact lenses popped out, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The assailant sped off and left her without her purse, shoes or cellphone, police said.
Her case went unsolved for more than four years, until she heard about testimony from Wilson’s murder trial that resembled her attack.
Hannah Wilson, 22, was killed in April 2015 just weeks before she was to graduate from college.
Investigators were able to match DNA from under the sexual assault victim’s fingernails and match it with samples from Messel.
While Messel will likely spend his life in prison for the murder conviction, the new charges suggest he preyed on numerous women on the Indiana University campus. Police investigated whether Messel was involved in the unsolved 2011 disappearance of another IU student, Westchester native Laura Spierer. He was never charged in that high-profile case.
Another IU student who testified in Wilson’s trial told a judge a man she believed to be Messel attacked her in a similar way. She said that a man lured her into his car after a night of drinking in Halloween 2012, according to the Indianapolis Star. He tried to force her to perform oral sex but she escaped the car. She reported the assault to police but was never able to identify the assailant and Messel has not been charged in that case.
The new charges against Messel are just the latest in a string of other violent crimes committed by the Bloomington native.
Messel pleaded guilty to forgery in 1989, felony battery in 1990, and battery with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious injury in 1996.
Investigators have linked him to three other attacks on women, including an assault on his own grandmother.
With News Wire Services