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Santa Ana Serial Rapist Faces Sentencing Today

Forklift operator, 24, pleaded guilty last week to robbery and assaults of at least eight women.

October 17, 2002|Monte Morin and Stuart Pfiefer | Times Staff Writers

A man who pleaded guilty to a series of rapes and robberies that set a Santa Ana neighborhood on edge in 2000 is expected to face a lengthy prison term when sentenced today.

Eduardo Guzman, 24, pleaded guilty last week to more than three dozen felony charges related to attacks on women who lived near his Santa Ana home.

Guzman pleaded guilty in the midst of his trial before Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel.

Guzman, a forklift operator who lived with his wife and their young son at the time of the attacks, faces several possible life sentences at today's hearing.

At least eight women were raped or sexually assaulted and several others were robbed during a three-month period in the summer of 2000.

Prosecutors alleged that Guzman lurked in the carports of gated apartment buildings, watching women before choosing to strike.

He used a knife during the attacks, police said.

In a surprise move, Guzman agreed to have his trial heard by Fasel rather than a jury.

But before the judge could decide his fate, Guzman pleaded guilty.

"It kind of surprised us," said Susan Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. "When they want to plead to every count, we certainly can't prevent them."

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