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<b>Police Arrest Man for

Rapes of Sex Workers</b>

On June 29, detectives with the Arlington Police Department’s Special Victims Unit announced the arrest of 23-year-old Estifanos Mesghinna, of the 1300 block of Arlington Ridge Road, on charges of raping a 23-year-old woman on Friday, June 25. Mesghinna is also suspected in the rape of an 18-year-old woman that occurred on Saturday, June 26.

According to police reports:

At approximately 3 p.m. on June 26, officers responded to an apartment building on Arlington Ridge for the report of a rape and abduction that had taken place there at 4:15 a.m. Friday, June 25. The victim, an exotic dancer, told police she was sent to the building to meet a client. The suspect let her in the building, took her to the basement and raped her at gunpoint. The woman fled the scene when the suspect ordered her to leave.

A similar incident occurred at approximately 12:45 a.m. on Saturday. The 18-year-old victim, an escort, was sent to the same location to meet a client. The suspect let her in the building, took her to the basement and raped her at gunpoint. He then blindfolded her, took her to an apartment in the building and again raped her at gunpoint. The suspect then called a cab for the victim and released her.

In response to these two reports, detectives contacted Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), a Washington-based organization emphasizing health and empowerment for area sex workers, and asked for help warning possible victims.

Detectives also asked HIPS to notify them if a similar request was made at the location on Arlington Ridge Road. At approximately 10:30 a.m. on June 28, a Special Victims Unit detective received an anonymous call reporting that another request had been made for the Arlington Ridge location.

Police said that evidence collected as a result of that tip, as well as from the two incidents, led them to identify Mesghinna as the suspect. He was arrested at his residence early on Tuesday, June 29. The investigation is ongoing, and police said additional charges are likely to be filed.

Detectives believe that Mesghinna may have attacked other sex workers. They ask that anyone with information about Mesghinna call Det. Sean Carrig at 703-228-4244. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 800-673-2777. Callers to Crime Solvers do not have to give their name, do not need to testify in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

<b>Mosquitoes Discovered with West Nile</b>

Two samples of mosquitoes taken last month in the Bluemont Park neighborhood tested positive for West Nile Virus, reported Arlington County public health officials on Friday, July 2.

Other communities in Virginia have already reported positive birds or mosquitoes. So far this summer, however, county staff say there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of West Nile among Arlington residents.

The county will continue a mosquito monitoring and control program that includes extensive sampling for adult mosquitoes and monitoring for human cases of West Nile Virus. The County also has three sentinel chicken flocks to identify where active West Nile Virus transmission is occurring in the county.

To reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

* Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.

* If possible, stay indoors when mosquitoes are biting.

* Check window and door screens to ensure that mosquitoes do not enter the home.

* Use insect repellent products with no more than 30 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children. Adults should apply repellent on children. Follow instructions on the label when using insect repellents.

* Spray repellent on your hands and then apply to your face and only apply it to exposed skin and clothing. Do not use repellent under clothing.

* Do not apply repellent over cuts, wounds, sunburns or irritated skin.

* Wash repellent off daily and reapply as needed.

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding:

* Turn over or remove containers in yards where rainwater collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, boats, buckets and toys.

* Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.

* Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.

* Eliminate standing water on tarps and flat roofs.

* Do not leave garbage can lids upside down or allow water to collect in garbage cans.

More information is available on <a href=http://www.co.arlington.va.us/westnile>the County's West Nile information page</a> or on the <a href=http://www.vdh.virginia.gov>State Department of Health Web site</a>.