Serial rapist charged in series of knifepoint attacks, robberies in south Minneapolis

An alleged serial rapist has been charged in two separate attacks in Minneapolis where he reportedly robbed and raped or attempted to rape women he arranged to meet online. The same man is also suspected in several other similar incidents. 

Kenyatta Buckles, 24, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon for incidents that occurred on Jan. 20 and Feb. 10. The alleged incidents occurred a few blocks from his apartment in the Whittier neighborhood. 

Buckles is also a suspect three other similar cases that occurred in November, early January and last week blocks away from the two attacks. Investigators say Buckles targets escorts who respond to ads through websites.

According to the charges, on Jan. 20, Buckles contacted a woman through a website called and arranged to have her pick him up at an address in the Whittier neighborhood. She picked him up and drove him to East 22nd Street and 4th Avenue South.

When they got there, Buckles put a knife to her throat and demanded money or sex. At one point, Buckles was distracted long enough for the victim to run from the car. Buckles caught up to her, punched her into the face and threw her to the ground face down. 

Buckles placed his hand over her mouth as she was screaming and she bit down on his hands, causing him to release his grip. She was able to run away and caught the attention of someone nearby who had called 911 when they heard her screaming. 

Officers eventually located her car halfway down a nearby alley. Her wallet was missing. DNA on a hat found in the victim’s car matched Buckles’ profile in a convicted offender database.

In the incident on Feb. 10, a woman had arranged to meet Buckles, who was using a fake name, through a dating app. She waited for him on the 2100 block of 2nd Avenue South, a block from Buckles’ apartment, as he had instructed. When he approached her at the prescribed meeting place, he was carrying a knife. 

Buckles allegedly wrapped his arm around her neck, put the knife to her and said, “Don’t do anything. Don’t move. Listen to what I say.” He then took her back to his car and forced her into the back seat. 

Buckles initially demanded money from the victim and went through her purse. He then sexually assaulted her. 

The victim reported the incident and underwent a sexual assault examination, where the DNA testing on the condom matched Buckles. 

Buckles was already on probation in Anoka for two convictions of aggravated robbery. He is now in custody. 

The Minneapolis Police Department is still investigating the three other cases where Buckles is also a suspect. Prosecutors are seeking to bring in evidence from the three other cases if Buckles goes to trial for his current charges.