Wisconsin rapist linked to Pennypack assaults through DNA

Wisconsin rapist linked to Pennypack assaults through DNA
Philadelphia Police

Police believe the man who brutally raped two women in Pennypack Park about four years ago is the same man found guilty of sexual assault in Wisconsin.

On Tuesday Lt. Anthony McFadden announced the arrest of Robert Palen, 38, who was charged with two separate sexual assaults in Northeast Philadelphia between 2010 and 2011.

Palen, who previously lived in the city, was found to be a DNA match to the two city assaults after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman he met online in Madison, Wisconsin.

He was extradited to Philadelphia over the holiday weekend.

Palen would provide the women with a ride home and then take a detour to the park where he would brutally beat and then rape them.

Only a few months after leaving his wife and children and moving to Wisconsin in 2013 Palen was arrested for sexual assault. After he pleaded guilty, his DNA was added to a national forensic database, which allowed Philadelphia Police to make the connection.

Palen was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, rape and attempted murder. Police could not charge Palen with a third attack, since the victim died before her attacker could be captured.

“He’s not a good guy,” McFadden said Tuesday.