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Rape, Burglary Suspect Pleads Innocent in Assaults : Crime: Police believe the Temecula man, held without bail in county jail, was involved in 86 incidents. Officials hope to try him under 'three strikes' law.

August 26, 1995|KEN ELLINGWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — A pool hall manager suspected by police in a long string of sexual assaults and burglaries across Orange County pleaded innocent Friday to rape and a dozen other charges.

The prosecutor said it was unclear whether Kenneth G. Wade, 45, of Temecula would be charged with any more of the 86 incidents--including about 15 rapes--in which he was named a suspect after his arrest last month in Anaheim. That arrest came after he allegedly tried to rape one woman and expose himself to another.

Most of those incidents, which date to 1987, occurred before the statute of limitations expired and are beyond the reach of prosecutors, Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan McNerney said Friday.

Wade faces a rape charge stemming from an August, 1994, assault in Santa Ana and also is charged with a single count of penetration with a foreign object, nine burglaries, a vehicle theft and felony evading arrest.

Wade is being held without bail in Orange County Jail.

Deputy Public Defender Donald T. Barkemeyer said he was still reviewing police reports and could not comment on Wade's expected defense.

Prosecutors hope to try Wade under the state's "three strikes and you're out" law because he has at least two convictions, McNerney said. The prosecutor said Wade could face a maximum prison sentence of more than 300 years if convicted of all the charges.

Police said Wade may have been the same man who broke into homes nude or exposed himself and was dubbed the "Cottonwood Pervert" for the Orange neighborhood where the intruder appeared repeatedly in the late 1980s.

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