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Parole of Rapist to Covina Draws Outrage From Officials : Crime: Reginald Donald Muldrew is suspected of more than 200 sexual attacks during the 1970s. A protest rally in Civic Center Park is planned for Monday.

November 18, 1994|LISA O'NEILL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A convicted rapist suspected in more than 200 sexual attacks in Los Angeles during the 1970s is scheduled to be paroled in Covina, raising a cry of protest from city leaders.

Reginald Donald Muldrew, 46, convicted in 1978 of four counts of rape with force, two counts of oral copulation with a child, one count of assault and several counts of burglary and robbery, is scheduled to be released from Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City in December, said California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Christine May.

Muldrew is "a violent rapist who is dangerous to the community," Covina Councilman John M. Wilcox said. "He doesn't belong in a civilized society, and he doesn't belong in our city."

Before his release Dec. 4, Muldrew must pass a psychiatric examination, May said, adding that Muldrew has no history of mental illness.

Covina Police Chief John Lentz, who said he was notified Tuesday about Muldrew's parole into Covina, said he is urging residents to write letters of protest to Gov. Pete Wilson.

"My personal opinion is that (Muldrew) should not be released," Lentz said. "I believe he will pose a threat to society."

Muldrew was dubbed the "Pillowcase Rapist" because he covered his victims' faces with pillowcases, blouses or scarves. He sometimes put knives to their throats.

Although he was convicted of four rapes, Muldrew was a suspect in more than 200 in which the victims had pillowcases placed over their heads, as well as 150 burglaries from 1975 until his arrest in 1978, May said. Victims lived in Compton, Southwest Los Angeles and the Wilshire district.

He has served time in several state prisons, including San Quentin. He was sent to Pelican Bay on Jan. 17, 1990, because of his involvement with a prison gang, Pelican Bay State Prison spokesman Lt. Al Deines said. There, he was placed in the security housing unit where he spent 22 1/2 hours of each day in isolation, Deines said.

Covina city officials said state authorities told them that Muldrew had been convicted of raping 29 women in all.

He was a suspect in the 1971 murder of a San Quentin prison guard but was not prosecuted.

Covina Mayor Tom M. O'Leary said he has sent a letter on behalf of the city to Wilson.

"The security of our female residents is in jeopardy," O'Leary said. "You're talking about an individual whose prodigious life of crime has been against women."

O'Leary said there will be a protest rally in the Civic Center Park at 7 p.m. Monday.

Lentz said he did not know why Muldrew was being paroled to Covina but said that state law dictates that parolees must be paroled to the county where they were convicted. Lentz said he thought the placement might be related to a recent law that says convicted rapists cannot be released within 35 miles of their victims.

This marks the second time this year that a serial rapist has been scheduled for release in the San Gabriel Valley area.

In a similar case, serial rapist Christopher Hubbart failed a psychiatric exam on the day of his scheduled parole to Claremont in March. Hubbart, 43, who had raped 43 women, was driven straight to a parole office after his release from prison, where he was evaluated by a psychiatrist that morning. By that afternoon, Hubbart was back behind bars.

Under a 1977 determinate sentencing law, rapists and most other offenders must be released on parole at a specified time rather than having to go before a state parole board for clearance.

Times staff writer Renee Tawa contributed to this report.

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