New cases linked to man convicted of raping dozens of women

CLEVELAND-He is already considered one of the worst predators in modern Cleveland history, and FOX 8 News has learned that new cases are being linked to convicted rapist Nathan Ford.

50-year-old Ford once lived in Akron and DNA testing of old rape kits has linked him to crimes committed in Summit County.

A grand jury has returned  an indictment against Ford, accusing him of a 2003 rape in the Akron area and investigators say additional charges are likely.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors say beginning in the 1990s, Nathan Ford led a double life. By day, he was a probation officer in Lake County. By night, he was a predator, prowling around greater Cleveland, terrorizing and raping women.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mary Weston told FOX 8, "He preyed on strangers. He preyed on women that were alone, people that would not be able to recognize him and he beat them so they wouldn't be able to see him. He choked them and punched them in the face."

Ford got away with dozens of rapes, including highly publicized attacks on a student at Cleveland State University, and a 13-year-old girl at a RTA station, before DNA testing of old rape kits linked him to crimes.  He was convicted in separate trials in 2006 and 2016 of raping a dozen women and sentenced to what amounted to life in prison. "These women have described  to me that their lives will never be the same. They are afraid to be alone. I met a woman who was a victim of Nathan Ford. She was afraid to leave her house and to this day, it makes her completely uncomfortable to leave the house, " said Weston.

Based on testing of another batch of old rape kits, the now 50-year-old Ford was convicted earlier this year of raping three other women. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to an additional eight consecutive terms of life in prison. Prosecutors say Ford has offered an unusual excuse for the violent attacks, claiming that he was being poisoned by aliens that he called orchestrators. "And he had learned that the only way to alleviate the pain was if he had sex with an orchestrator, whether it was forced or not, if it was forced he had to do it," said Weston.

That claim and other excuses offered by Ford, have been rejected by the judges and juries if each of his trials. Prosecutors say the magnitude of his one man crime wave will likely never be known. "How many women did he attack that did report the crime, how many women did he attack where DNA has not solved it?" asked Weston.