The suspect appeared before prosecutors on Sunday and authorities are awaiting the results of DNA tests in connection with the series of rapes in Lyon’s 8th arrondissement, regional newspaper Le Progres reported.
The attacks, that took place between October 2012 and February 2013, provoked widespread fear in the community and prompted university officials to warn 30,000 local students against going out alone at night.
“We ask you to be careful when you are going from one place to another. Please do not go out unaccompanied and stay vigilant. This especially concerns female students,” wrote Jacques Comby, President of the University Lyon III at the time.
The modus operandi of the attacker and the location ofthe attacks persuaded police that they were looking for one lone assailant.
In each of five attacks, all of which occurred around midnight, the assailant threatened the victim with a knife or box cutter. Police said the hooded attacker cut some of the victims.
His victims were all believed to be in their twenties.
The last reported attack took place at the end of January 2013.