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Man wanted in death of New York City nurse is charged with North Hollywood sex assault

A man considered a person of interest in a New York City homicide was charged this week with sexually assaulting a woman in North Hollywood, officials said.

Danueal Drayton, 27, of Brooklyn, was arrested Tuesday by detectives from the Los Angeles and New York City police departments, authorities said.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Thursday that investigators think Drayton has used dating websites to target women and that there are “potentially more victims out there,” according to a report in the New York Daily News.

In Los Angeles, investigators say Drayton choked and sexually assaulted a woman after a date, holding her captive inside her North Hollywood apartment on July 22 and 23, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

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Drayton has been charged with attempted murder, forcible rape and false imprisonment, prosecutors said. He is expected to appear in a Van Nuys courtroom Friday. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Police in New York were investigating Drayton in connection with the death of 29-year-old Samantha Stewart, who was killed July 17 in Queens, according to a spokesman for the New York City Police Department.

Police there responded to a 911 call about an unconscious person inside a residence on 145th Road, near JFK International Airport. The person, later identified as Stewart, suffered trauma to her neck and head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

An NYPD spokesman said he could not provide information on what, if any, relationship Drayton had with Stewart.

NYPD personnel joined detectives from the LAPD’s North Hollywood division when they arrested Drayton on Tuesday. He is being held in lieu of $1.25 million bail, according to jail records.

A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said prosecutors there had not yet filed murder charges against Drayton or sought his extradition to New York.

Court records show Drayton had multiple prior arrests in Connecticut. Between 2011 and 2018, he had either pleaded guilty or no contest to a range of charges that included strangulation, unlawful restraint, violation of a protective order and resisting arrest.

He pleaded guilty to harassment in New Haven, Conn., in March and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

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Drayton was last arrested by the Nassau County Police Department in Long Island, N.Y., on June 30 and charged with strangulation, aggravated harassment, criminal mischief and trespassing, according to a Nassau County police spokesman. It was not immediately clear when he made bail or was released from custody.

james.queally@latimes.com

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.

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UPDATES:

2:25 p.m.: This article was updated with additional background about Drayton.

This article was originally published at 1:15 p.m.


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