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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Rape Suspect's Bail Is Increased to $15.5 Million

November 21, 2000

BELLFLOWER — Superior Court Commissioner Michael Schuur increased bail to $15.5 million for a 25-year-old Artesia man who is accused of sexually attacking four women in separate incidents dating to February 1999.

Bail had been set at $1.5 million until prosecutors requested the increase, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Bismark Ceja faces 20 charges, including attempted murder, rape and kidnapping. His arraignment Monday was postponed until Dec. 4, Gibbons said.

Ceja was arrested Thursday in Norwalk after a stakeout in which a task force of several law enforcement agencies matched him with a composite sketch of the assailant based on victims' descriptions.

The attacks for which Ceja is accused occurred in Cerritos, Cypress, Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs.

The assailant in the Nov. 1 assault was armed with a box cutter, which led to the attempted murder charge Ceja faces, Gibbons said.

Gibbons said evidence was collected linking Ceja to the crimes but declined to discuss what it is.

If he is convicted on each of the 20 counts, Ceja faces more than 300 years to life in prison.

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