Man accused of 1979 rapes arrested on Grand Strand

Jerry Lee Brooks

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they solved cold rape cases, known as the "Ski-mask Rapist Cases," with the help of Surfside Beach police and the State Law Enforcement Division.

In December of 2011, the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit became aware of a series of rape cases from 1979 that were similar, but no one was ever connected with them.

Investigators opened the case and found there was DNA evidence available in several of the cases.

Analysis revealed that the cases were all linked and all shared a suspect identified as Jerry Lee Brooks, 62.

The case was presented to a Mecklenburg County Grand Jury on June 25 and 13 indictments were handed down against Brooks.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police found Brooks in Surfside Beach, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Johnny Valentine is vacationing in Surfside Beach from Florence. He witnessed the arrest.

"Well, when I came walking up, I just saw a lot of laws here and they all had their rifles and everything. I didn't know what was going on," Valentine said.

Police say Brooks was connected to three of the 1979 cases and has been charge with three count of Rape, two counts Crime Against Nature, one count of Burglary, two counts of Breaking and Entering, one count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, two counts of Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and two counts of Kidnapping.

We spoke to a man who called himself Brooks' roommate. Larry, who didn't want us to use his last name, said he'd lived with Brooks for the past year and had known him for five. Larry said he thinks there must be a mixup with the names or some confusion with the arrest because Brooks was a good person, easy going and laid back.

Brooks is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center pending extradition.