DENVER (AP) — A Denver District Court judge declared a mistrial in a serial rape case Thursday after the defendant apparently killed himself.
William Costello, 48, was found dead at the bottom of a multi-story parking garage on the second day of his trial in a series of sex assaults dating back to 2008. Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, said Costello appeared to have taken his own life.
Costello was linked to the rapes after he was arrested in July 2012 for assaulting an anti-abortion petitioner who was collecting signatures outside a Denver grocery store. Police said Costello pushed the 69-year-old man off his bike, breaking his hip, and threw his clipboard on the ground.
Under Katie’s Law, DNA samples were taken from Costello after his arrest and linked him to three unsolved sex assaults, the first of which involved a 13-year-old girl in 2008.
Costello lured the girl into his car and raped her in an alley, according to court documents. In the other assaults, which happened in 2010 and 2011, police reports show Costello approached women while impersonating a police officer. He told one woman that he would take her to jail if she refused to have sex with him, the reports show.
Authorities began looking for Costello using his GPS monitor Thursday morning when he failed to show up for court. Paramedics later found his body. District Attorney Mitch Morrissey called his death “a sad resolution to a case in which many people had waited years for justice.”
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