Did serial rapist claim 230 victims?

Police is eastern Belgium have asked victims of the Limburg rapist known as "Raf" to come forward. "Raf" has been in custody for five months now but is keeping his own counsel. So far 19 victims have been identified. Detectives suspect that "Raf" claimed many more victims.

The man calling himself Raf, Rafke, Rafaello, Roberto or Raphael Bastiaans contacted victims via the dating website Twoo. He used a false profile picture and claimed that he was an IT architect or Telenet engineer. He said he was of Italian origins and was single.

Long online conversations allowed him to gain the trust of many women, who agreed to meet him at their homes or on a carpark. Police say that "Raf" acted like a real gentleman but offered his victims a cocktail of juice, a sleeping draught and XTC, a combination that could be lethal.

Victims soon dozed off. "Raf" proceeded to steel their belongings, assault and rape them.

"Raf" was active across Flanders, but his deeds only came to light last September, when a first victim filed a complaint. A suspect was identified and arrested.

Police analysed the suspect's mobile phone traffic identifying 230 people he had been in contact with. Police say that that means there are 230 potential victims.

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