CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two men described as “brutal serial rapists” have been indicted for attacks on seven women.
Derrick Lartdale, 48, was charged in the rapes of three women, all of them home invasions, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.” Two of the rapes took place in August 1995, and one happened in May 1996.
Lartdale faces four counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping, one count of felonious sexual penetration and 10 counts of aggravated burglary.
Nathan Ford, 48, was charged in the rapes of four women, one in 1995, one in 1998 and two in 2000. He faces five counts of rape, five counts of kidnapping, two counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated robbery.
According to the prosecutor’s office, DNA evidence that led to the indictments was discovered in rape kits collected from the victims at the time of their attacks. They were tested as part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.
In each of the attacks for which Lartdale was indicted, he’s accused of breaking into homes and telling his victims, ages 19, 16 and 23, that he was armed. He then allegedly threatened them if they resisted.
When the mother of one victim interrupted the assault, Lartdale reportedly dragged the victim outside and raped her in a neighboring yard.
Ford is accused of grabbing three of his four victims off the street, using a gun in one instance and choke holds in the other two incidents. The fourth attack he is accused of took place in a bathroom at Cleveland State University, where he allegedly hit the victim in the head and forced her into a stall.
“Nathan Ford and Derrick Lartdale were true scourges upon the people of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County,” said Assistant County Prosecutor Brett Kyler. “They are predators in every sense of the word who terrorized women they attacked, in the crimes detailed in these indictments and far too many others.”
Both men are currently serving lengthy prison sentences for previous sexual assaults.
Lartdale is serving a 62-year sentence after being convicted in 1998 on two counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of attempted aggravated burglary.
Ford, who is a former Lake County probation officer, was convicted in 2006 of raping eight different women, including a 13-year-old girl and a 55-year-old teacher. He is serving a 113-year sentence.
“Some people might ask why we would prosecute cases against two men who are already facing many decades in prison,” said Kyker. “The answer is that the victims of these men, the seven women who survived their brutal attacks but still bear the scars, deserve their day in court and deserve justice. They deserve an acknowledgement of the crimes that were committed against them, and the people of Ohio and Cuyahoga County need to hold their rapists accountable.”