Jury Selection Begins for Alleged Serial Rapist Arrested Who was Convicted of Murder in 1980

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The stage is set for the trial of alleged serial rapist Nathan Bell--jury selection began today.

49 potential jurors answered numerous questions this afternoon on everything from potential biases to how many times they have been in a courtroom before.

Bell is accused of sexually assaulting at least five Stateline women since 2009--choking and punching them into submission. Court documents show he has history of violence against women and he was previously convicted of murdering a girlfriend in the late 1970s. Today Judge McGraw asked if any potential jurors had been victims of sexual assault.

The trial is expected to last at least a week. Bell's attorney previously filed a motion to be withdrawn as counsel saying his client had stopped paying him, but Judge McGraw did not allow his attorney to quit.

In October, a court ordered Bell's DNA to be sent to the state crime lab.

Police say they suspect may be involved in a number of other unsolved rape cases.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- 23 News has learned accused serial rapist Nathan Bell was convicted 30 years ago for murdering the mother of his three children.

Court records show Bell was sentenced to 40 years in prison for shooting his 21-year-old girlfriend in the head while she was holding their two-month-old baby. He went to prison in August of 1980, but was released after only serving half his sentence. He's now being charged with raping at least five women.

He was also convicted in 1975 of severely burning a different girlfriend with a red hot sword.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- An alleged serial rapist who has been targeting Stateline women for at least three years, is now behind bars.

Choking, punching, and kicking. That's what Nathan Bell allegedly did to his victims before he sodomized them, raped them and forced them to have oral sex. At least that's what numerous Stateline women are claiming.

According to court documents the first rape allegedly occurred in January 2009. The others started early last year. There were two in January, one in August and one last September.

So far he's only being charged with raping five women. But that number might increase if they match his DNA to DNA found in old rape kits.

In October, a court ordered that his DNA be sent to the state crime lab for blood, hair, and saliva samples to be crosschecked with other unsolved sexual assault cases.

Bell has been in jail since August, his bail was set at $500,000.

Bell's defense attorney says he has plead not guilty to all five cases. A trial is set for April.

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  • by MCDONALD Location: ROCKFORD on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
  • by natina Location: rockford on Apr 23, 2012 at 09:01 PM
    I'm sorry but he needs and deserves to be in jail for a long time
  • by Reality on Apr 23, 2012 at 08:44 PM
    How is he supposed to get a fair trial when the media is tainting the jury pool with all this info from the past?
  • by susan Location: rockford on Mar 8, 2012 at 02:48 AM
    i know nate he is innocent i never knew him to be violent besides he never wanted to go back to prison
  • by steve Location: machesney park on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM
    i nknew nate well he went to my gym gary johnson the owner owned anight club which nate went to a woman who went there was found dead case unsolved i found it was back aprox over thirty years ago he always gave me aride tothe sore i never knew he had a secret life he will never get ouy
  • by unknown Location: rockford on Mar 2, 2012 at 09:51 AM
    25 years ago he was in prison for killing my mom he wasnt at a night club i have been his victim for 30 plus years am i happy hes in jail? no where is my justice? will it take the pain away?
  • by steve Location: lovespark on Mar 1, 2012 at 06:47 PM
    about twenty five years ago he went to a night club where a young woman went to she was murderd case was unsolved
  • by jamie Location: rockford on Mar 1, 2012 at 06:11 PM
    i knew this man weel a good friend of mine he told me he was in prison for a heat of passion crime i knew him as agood person willing to do you a favor i guees he had a dark side idid not know
    • reply
      by unknown on Mar 2, 2012 at 09:58 AM in reply to jamie
      that man is my father he shot me in the head been knowing him for eleven years treated me like i was nothing u might think you know someone of course hes nice to you
      • reply
        by unknown on Mar 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM in reply to unknown
        Im soo sorry that you had to go through this. My heart goes out to you!
  • by marcie hendriex on Mar 1, 2012 at 05:41 AM
    this man needs 2 rott behind bars.........he shouldve never got out for what he did and none of these women wouldve gone thru what they have gone thru i definetly hope justice is served this time.
  • by Reality on Feb 29, 2012 at 08:54 PM
    Dear God! A murder and then an agg batt where he burned a woman with a hot poker?? Broscato in all his genius didn't warn the public about this? He should lose his law license!
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