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Five women's stories of rape in Reading are shockingly similar

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Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:45 am | Updated: 11:28 am, Mon Nov 12, 2012.

A Reading man raped at least five women between August 2010 and October, according to city police.

In most cases, he picked them up in early mornings in a part of the city known for the sex trade, took them to his house on North 10th Street, and used a knife or a gun to subdue them for hours of rape and other abuse before letting them go, according to court documents.

The women's accounts contain shocking details, such as that a teen-aged boy helped the rapist clean up blood after a victim stabbed him, while the victim was in the room.

And that a man the rapist called “uncle” eventually intervened in one ordeal and drove the victim to another part of the city.

And that in the midst of one attack, the rapist ordered 2 grams of cocaine on the phone, which was delivered like pizza.

Already in Berks County jail on one rape charge, Henry M. Zabala-Zorilla, 36, was charged Tuesday, May 29, with rape, kidnapping, assault, robbery and related offenses in the other four cases.

Police had been searching for Zabala-Zorilla since a woman claimed he raped her Oct. 14.

That victim said Zabala-Zorilla took her to his house, where he raped and beat her for 13 hours, according to the Reading Eagle.

Eventually he left the house, and she escaped and called police.

On Feb. 13, he was arrested in New York City on assault charges.

He was brought back to Berks County on April 25.

Zabala-Zorilla has had a record in Reading for at least 10 years. He was charged with possessing marijuana in October 2001. He was arraigned on an assault charge in March 2003.

The women describe their attacks in the affidavit of probable cause.

In early August 2010, one victim said, she was near Eighth and Cherry streets between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on a Sunday when she saw a man she knew pull up in a small red pickup truck.

The man, whom she had previously helped find drugs to buy, said he wanted cocaine, so she got in and told him where to drive. He didn’t follow her directions. When she told him to stop, he pulled out a gun, continued to near Union Street and parked behind a house.

With the gun in her back, they went in the rear of the house, through the kitchen and into the living room.

He ordered her to give him oral sex, and when she refused, he punched her, offered her cocaine, which she refused, and raped her.

They fought and fell, she stabbed him in the neck with a handy scissors, and he bled so profusely they slid in the blood on the floor as they struggled.

She tried to run but heard the gun make a noise and stopped when he ordered her to.

He came into the kitchen with her and called for someone, and a teen-aged boy entered and helped the man clean the blood from himself and the floor.

The teen-ager opened the basement door, and she thought they would kill her.

Eventually, the man took her back into the living room, beat her with a beer bottle and raped her on a mattress as she went in and out of consciousness.

At one point, he called someone, had an eighth-ounce of cocaine delivered, and paid for it with money from her purse. He also stole her phone, almost $100, and her underwear.

About 11:30 p.m. – she wasn’t sure if it was Monday or Tuesday – another man whom the rapist called “uncle” told him that was enough and told her to get dressed and that he would take her home.

The uncle dropped her off south of Penn Street, covered in bruises.

She said she didn’t report the crimes to police because she was wanted for a parole violation.

She picked Zabala-Zorilla’s photo from eight that police showed her.

Berks County police departments received 71 rape reports in 2011, and 59 were determined to be true, according to state police statistics.

Reading police received 21 rape reports in 2011, all of them determined to be actual.

Another woman told police that in August 2010 she was working as a prostitute near Fifth and Franklin streets and got into a burgundy sedan about 3 a.m.

The man drove to near 10th and Pike streets, pulled into an alley, parked in a driveway, and they entered the back of the house.

In the living room, he said he had only $7, and she told him to take her back.

He pointed a gun at her. Her cell phone rang, and he stole it. He raped her in the living room and a bedroom, with the gun always nearby. Eventually he drove her back to 10th and Penn streets.

Another woman told police that on Sept. 5, 2010, she was at Fifth and Spring streets when a man in a red Chevy pickup truck invited her to his place for beer.

He drove a few blocks, parked in an alley, and they walked into the house from the back, into the living room. The man pulled out a knife and told her to take off her pants. She said she complied out of fear he would hurt her.

He raped her for hours. He eventually let her go and she ran from the house.

On May 23, the woman took an investigator to the house, 1552 N. 10th St.

County records show Zabala-Zorilla bought the property in April 2007 for $55,000.

On Nov. 16, a woman in Reading Hospital reported she had been raped sometime between Oct. 15 and Oct. 30.

She said she had been working as a prostitute at Fifth and Chestnut streets when a man pulled up in a red pickup truck between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

They drove to his house, and she tried to leave when he wouldn’t show her the money he had offered. He pulled out a knife, took her to a bedroom, raped her, and gave her a black eye with his fist and a 2-inch gash on her arm with the blade.

She said the knife was always within his reach and that she feared for her life.

About 6 a.m., he said he would take her home but drove in the wrong direction. When he stopped and went into a garage, she ran.

She selected his photo from eight.

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1 comment:

  • dropmypinklemon posted at 5:21 pm on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    dropmypinklemon Posts: 1

    I was a victim of this creep. And I can say for sure I was NEVER a prostitute. And I know at least one other girl wasn't. I met this guy at a bar. I was going to college when I met him.


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