Los Angeles

Suspected East Coast Killer Pleads Not Guilty to NoHo Sexual Assault

Police believe the 27-year-old man met the women through an online dating site and they are looking for other possible victims.

A man suspected of killing a nurse and raping another woman in New York pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he sexually assaulted and tried to kill a woman in her North Hollywood apartment after they went on a date.

Danueal Drayton, 27, is charged with one count each of attempted murder, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence and sexual penetration by a foreign object involving the alleged attack.

On June 22 and 23, Drayton allegedly strangled and sexually assaulted the 28-year-old victim and refused to let her leave her apartment after a date, prosecutors said.

Drayton could face more than 23 years to life in prison if convicted as charged.

He was wanted in New York in connection with the killing of nurse Samantha Stewart, who was found dead in her Queens apartment on July 17, as well as the rape earlier this month of a woman in Brooklyn, according to media reports.

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Stewart, 29, was found dead by her father and brother, and authorities later determined that she had been strangled, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police believe Drayton met the women through an online dating site and that others were possibly victimized.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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