The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

22 years ago, police said he sexually assaulted 4 roommates. On Monday, one confronted him.

The masked intruder slipped into the Reston apartment on June 6, 1995, ordered four young women to strip naked at gunpoint and then filmed the harrowing sexual assaults that followed with a camcorder.

On Monday — nearly 22 years later — one of the victims confronted the alleged perpetrator for the first time. The woman’s testimony in a Fairfax County courtroom was by turns graphic and emotional, providing the key details that led a judge to determine there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

Jude Lovchik, 49, of Ocala, Fla., has been charged with numerous counts related to the assaults on the four roommates, but authorities are also exploring whether he was behind more than 15 sexual assaults and attacks in Centreville and surrounding areas in the early and mid-1990s.

On Monday, the victim described the horrific attack and the assailant’s methodical attempts to cover his crimes, even vacuuming the scene of the assaults and making off with the vacuum bag to remove trace evidence. (The Washington Post generally does not name victims of sexual assault.)

On that night in the summer of 1995, the woman testified, the attack began when she was woken up sometime after 1:30 a.m. by a roommate clapping her hand over her mouth and telling her “not to say anything.”

The woman, then 23, and her three roommates were aspiring pharmacists and had been studying for the pharmacy boards shortly before going to bed that night. Now, they were confronted by a man dressed in black, wearing a ski mask and gloves. He was holding a pistol.

The woman testified that he ordered the roommates to turn over their money because he said he was going on a trip. He then made the women close their eyes and herded them all into one of the bedrooms.

“He said, ‘Shut up, don’t say anything, don’t make me use this,’ ” the woman told the judge.

The man ordered the women to lie facedown on two twin beds, the woman testified, before he blindfolded them using scarves and scrunchies from one of the their closets. He turned up a radio and TV, presumably to mask any noise, and told the women to disrobe.

One of the roommates panicked, and the intruder shoved a dirty sock in her mouth, the woman testified. “I thought he was going to kill us,” she said.

The women were forced to engage in sexual acts on each other, and then the man assaulted them.

Afterward, the man vacuumed the bedroom and took the vacuum bag as the women waited on the beds. He had also smashed the women’s phones and found an address book belonging to one of them. The woman testified he told them he had found family members’ names.

“I will kill them” if the women went to police, the man told the roommates.

He then told them he had a “long trip” ahead and was going to the kitchen to make a sandwich, the woman testified. About 45 minutes later, the woman took off their blindfolds and realized he had gone. The door to the apartment was wide open.

Authorities were able to recover sperm during the initial investigation, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing, but it did not immediately match a perpetrator. The case went cold in the intervening years.

After following fresh leads that weren’t detailed in court, Fairfax County police sought a search warrant last year to test biological samples from Lovchik, who had moved from Fairfax County to Florida. The DNA in the samples matched that collected in 1995, a forensic examiner testified Monday.

Lovchik was arrested in October. An attorney for the suspect declined to comment Monday. Police said the investigation continues.

“As we do with all criminal investigations, our detectives are working to determine whether the suspect in this case, Jude Lovchik, is connected to any other similar cases,” Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker wrote in an email.