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Philadelphia Inquirer
Friday, May 31, 2002

Graves' Philadelphia attacks

Troy Graves pleaded guilty yesterday to six attacks in Philadelphia. Earlier this month he pleaded guilty to eight assaults in Fort Collins, Colo. Following are summaries of the Philadelphia cases.

June 20, 1997: 200 block of South 21st Street. Police initially classified this a noncrime and stamped the file "inactive" because they doubted the victim's story. The victim told police a man broke into her apartment through a window and got on top of her, but she persuaded him not to rape her. She gave investigators hair from the attacker, but police failed to test it for 18 months. Graves pleaded guilty to attempted rape, aggravated assault, burglary, and attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

July 11, 1997: 2100 block of Pine Street. Detectives first called it a burglary. After drinking with friends, the victim returned home and went to bed. She awoke to find herself stripped naked with wet hair. Blood vessels in her eyes were broken and her neck was bruised. DNA tests on her underwear didn't yield results until late 1999. Graves pleaded guilty to rape, burglary and aggravated assault.

Aug. 6, 1997: 1600 block of Pine Street. The victim told police a man climbed through her window as she slept, landed on her back, and put a belt around her neck. He put a pillow cover over her face, raped her, then fled. Sheet stains were tested, but the case was not linked to the Schieber murder until January 1999 because police stored the DNA data from each case on two incompatible computers. Graves pleaded guilty to rape, burglary and aggravated assault.

Aug. 13, 1997: 1700 block of Pine Street. The victim told police she awoke to find a man in her bedroom. He covered her mouth with one hand and put his other hand on her neck. He put a pillow over her head and raped her. DNA from her sheets was linked to the Aug. 6 attack but not to the Schieber murder until January 1999. Graves pleaded guilty to rape, burglary and aggravated assault.

May 7, 1998: 200 block of South 23d Street - the murder of Shannon Schieber. This is from Graves' statement to police:

"I was walking down Manning Street, noticed a female wearing a white robe through a patio window. I circled the block . . . found a way to climb up to the balcony or patio. Went toward the bathroom and then into the bathroom. I believe Shannon had already removed her robe. I came up behind her and cupped her mouth with my left hand and used my right arm around her neck. She slightly struggled.

"Back out of the bathroom and turned off the bathroom light. . . . She spoke to me, asked me not to hurt her. I don't know, maybe 10 minutes went by, and I had her turn over and used the pillow to cover her face."

Graves described how Schieber resisted as he raped her: "She reached up and scratched at my face. I jumped behind her and cupped her mouth with my left hand and put my right arm around her neck. We struggled like that for 10, 15 minutes. At some point, she was able to get my ring finger, my left hand, on the left side of her mouth. She bit down very hard.

". . . Shortly after that, I heard a knock on the door. I applied more pressure with my right arm around her neck and tried to free my left finger from her mouth. . . . The whole time I was whispering to her to calm down, that I was just trying to leave.

"Then, she fell off the bed, towards the wall . . . her feet never touched the floor. I countered by jumping back on the bed, onto my knees, which didn't allow her feet to touch the floor . . . it was at that point that I thought I might have broken her neck. I pulled her on to the bed, towards the foot of the bed, still holding firm pressure with my right arm around her neck and my left hand cupped around her neck. She wasn't moving, so I released her onto the bed. She let out a gasp and I believed she was passed out. To my knowledge she never moved again while I was in the apartment." Graves pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, rape and burglary.

Aug. 28, 1999: 1900 block of Naudain Street. The victim said she awoke around 5 a.m. to find a man in her bedroom. He covered her face with a pillow, tied her hands with a shirt, and forced her to perform a sex act.

Graves pleaded guilty to rape, aggravated assault and burglary. - Clea Benson

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