NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The case against a man accused of raping two teenage girls will go to a grand jury.

The decision to certify eight of the 10 charges against William Phelps IV was made by a Norfolk judge in a closed preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Phelps is accused of abducting two teenage girls who were walking to their bus stop on Verdun Avenue and raping them at gunpoint on Jan. 9, 2008.

Norfolk police arrested Phelps in October after he allegedly lied on a background check form to buy a gun. Police have publicly called Phelps a suspected “serial rapist.” Police took Phelps’ DNA, which linked him to the assaults on Verdun Avenue. DNA also linked Phelps to other sexual assaults in Norfolk between Jan. 2, 2008 and October 23, 2008 and an attack in Chesapeake in 2007, according to court records.

Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi said his office will seek additional charges against Phelps through a direct indictment. Fatehi could not elaborate on what those charges would be.

Phelps’ preliminary hearing in Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court was closed to the public, including 10 On Your Side’s Executive Producer of Investigations and Special Projects Adrienne Mayfield.

Prosecutors asked the judge to close the hearing to protect the privacy of the victims who were scheduled to testify.

Mayfield appeared before the judge and asked for access to the hearing so she could report on it; however, the judge denied her access citing a law that excludes the public from hearings involving juvenile victims and sex crimes.

Phelps is not the first person to be accused of sexually assaulting the teenagers. Norfolk police charged a 16-year-old named Shaka Harrell on the day of the attacks. Harrell said he was identified by the victims through a yearbook picture the detectives showed them. Harrell was jailed for two months before DNA exonerated him.

10 On Your Side traveled to Philadelphia – where Harrell currently lives – in February to interview him about how being falsely accused of rape impacted him.

“That whole situation changed my life. I ain’t gonna lie, it changed my life,” he said. “It took me out of a good predicament where I was in Virginia. Philly (was) just like struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle.”