Police said a man suspected of assaulting a north Madison woman in late December has been connected to at least three similar assaults in another state.

The Madison Police Department said Wednesday that DNA entered into a national database linked 38-year-old Robert Palen, of Middleton, to unsolved sexual assaults in Philadelphia, where he used to live.

Police said DNA evidence found at the scene near Aberg Avenue where a woman in her 40s was battered, sexually assaulted and choked on Dec. 30, 2013, was entered in the database. A Philadelphia detective contacted the Madison case detective on March 11 to say there was a DNA match with a stranger assault that took place in Philadelphia on Aug. 3, 2011. The detective said Palen is a suspect in two other sexual assaults in Philadelphia.

Police said Palen moved from Philadelphia to Madison in 2013.

Palen is in Dane County Jail facing charges related to the Madison case including strangulation and suffocation, second-degree sexual assault using force, battery and disorderly conduct.

Madison crime stories from the past 12 months - locations are approximate