Man suspected in Florida serial rapes convicted in attack

Author: Associated Press
Robert Koehler, who authorities call the “Pillowcase Rapist,” is wheeled out of the courtroom by a Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department officer after he was found guilt by a jury in his trial, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Miami. (Jose A. Iglesias/Miami Herald via AP, Pool)

A man suspected of being the “pillowcase rapist” in connection with a string of South Florida rapes back in the 1980s was convicted Wednesday in one of the attacks.

Miami-Dade County jurors found Robert Koehler, 63, guilty of sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary. He faces up to life in prison at sentencing on March 17. He is also charged with six more attacks in neighboring Broward County.

The Miami-Dade case focused on a single victim, a then-25-year-old woman who was attacked in December 1983.

Authorities say the “pillowcase rapist” terrified his victims by breaking into their homes at night. The attacker used a pillowcase or other fabric to cover his face — or the face of his victims — before assaulting them, tying them up and stealing items from their homes.

The assaults attracted extensive media attention in South Florida and prompted the creation of a task force to investigate the sex crimes. Authorities said the trail eventually turned cold until 2020, when a DNA hit for one of Koehler’s relatives led police to the man.

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