Port Ellizabeth - A 37-year-old Despatch resident has been arrested in connection with 18 counts of rape, sexual assault, defeating the ends of justice and theft, Eastern Cape Police said on Friday.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Gerda Swart said that the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, from Uitenhage, arrested the suspect in Church Street in Despatch on Thursday night.

“It is alleged that the 24-year-old woman was offered a lift by the suspect on Sunday, January 24 at about 20:20. As they were travelling towards the taxi stand where the woman was supposed to get off, the suspect took out a knife and drove straight to his residence in Despatch,” said Swart.

Swart said that it was further alleged that the woman was repeatedly raped during the course of the night and only released the following day.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Uitenhage magistrate’s court on Monday.