|Contact Curtis Lundy Downing|
|Curtis L. Downing
Southern Desert Correctional Center
Indian Springs, NV 89070-0208
|DOB: March 20, 1962|
|Curtis L. Downing's case data|
|State and County||Nevada, Clark County|
|Case No.||C-119521 and C-114390|
|Crime||9 counts of rape (3 w/ deadly weapon),
1 count of robbery w/ deadly weapon,
1 count of burglary
|Date of Crime||C-119521: January 18, 1993
C-114390: January 21, 1993
|Date of Arrest||June 30, 1993|
|Date of Conviction||C-119521: May 20, 1998
C-114390: December 4, 1995
|Sentence||C-119521: 3 life terms with the possibility of parole for sexual assault (rape)
C-114390: 6 life terms with the possibility of parole for sexual assault (rape) + use of a deadly weapon,
30 years for robbery with use of a deadly weapon,
and 10 years for burglary,
all counts to be consecutive, i.e. in total: 9 life terms + 40 years.
|Age at the Date of Crime||30|
|Contributing Factors||Misleading Forensic Evidence, Mistaken Eyewitness Identification, False Accusation, Perjury, Official Misconduct, Ineffectiveness of Counsel|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||Yes|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||N/A|
In the 1990s, several girls and women in Las Vegas reported to have been raped and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was under pressure to get the cases solved. Some rape cases had the same pattern in common. Therefore, the law enforcement officers were looking for a serial rapist.
Curtis Downing had been in prison for a burglary and robbery case of 1983. In early 1993, he was on parole. He was accused of having raped three victims in the Las Vegas Valley area. One case was dismissed. The remaining two show many dissimilarities in the crimes. Downing pleaded not-guilty to all counts. He was tried for and convicted of two different rape cases that are complex in nature.
Downing says that the police obtained his blood without his consent and without a court order, i.e. illegally. He claims that they tampered with his DNA samples. His conviction in the second rape case – the case in chief (victim: Kristie Chiles) – was needed to get him convicted in the first rape case (victim: Tami Zold). And the rape victim of the first case (Tami Zold) testified at the second case’s trial (Kristie Chiles), although Downing had not been found guilty of the sexual assaults upon her (Tami Zold) yet. In order for you to understand the circumstances better, the whole story is picked apart and rolled up from behind here.
Overview: Comparison of the two rape cases Kristie Chiles v. Tami Zold (PDF, 4 pages)
Victims: Controversial Statements and Facts (PDF, 17 pages)
Curtis Downing’s Statement
Without question, DNA is a powerful tool utilized to convict the guilty. Yet, as with any tool of criminology, there is a potential, and always the opportunity for misuse and manipulation of DNA evidence. (See “Junk Science & Destroyed Evidence” on the IIPPI Forum!) When DNA evidence is mishandled, misused, manipulated, it will be next to impossible for an innocent person to prove his innocence via DNA testing. One could come to believe oneself is actually guilty.
I had no reasonable protection of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution in the state courts, and none from the federal courts either, due to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 482, 96 S.Ct. 3037, 3046 (1976). Thus, no court has reviewed adequately the full and “fair” opportunity to litigate the Fourth Amendment claim.
The Nevada Supreme Court is of the opinion in what would be deemed the case in chief (C-114390/ 27734), that I gave apparent consent to obtain and test my DNA. While the state district court prior to the Nevada Supreme Court’s ruling on direct appeal found factually that I did not consent. Clearly this presents a conflict in the state courts on the issue of consent. Thus, it should have been “fairly” found that since a conflict exists this conflict must be resolved.
A review of the record demonstrates the potential of manipulation of the DNA evidence. One factor being that an affidavit for my arrest was sworn out on October 29, 1993, setting forth that the DNA found in the body of the victim matched my DNA. However, the laboratory results first concluded a match was not known until November 16, 1993. Clearly no one can know the results of a test until the test results are completed. Such was not the case here.
There is no DNA to test that could prove my innocence, because the test would only be testing against myself and not the actual DNA of the assailant. The police wanted the perpetrator to be me.
How did I become a suspect?
The detail of this can be more fully reviewed under Event # 930601-0256, Police Officer G. Loyal Miller’s Affidavit (pdf, 4 pages) dated July 22, 1993. See Pos-it Marked GLM!
A woman by the name of Joanna Swanson reported on June 1, 1993 that she had been raped. No fingerprints or forensic evidence was obtained in this case. I knew Joanna and her room-mate Trisha Steel. Because my name was mentioned, and it was discovered that I was on parole, the police then focused on me as a suspect.
Joanna and I had had sexual relations, yet she did not inform the police of the same. She was upset with me because I would not leave my then fiancée Abigail Finlay to be with her. I was charged with sexually assaulting her, however, the charges were later dismissed. Joanna’s room-mate Trisha told Joanna that either she tells the truth or that she (Trisha) would go to the district attorney’s office to inform them of the facts.
Once the police focused on me and me being on parole, they did not investigate anyone else. On June 30, 1993, I was arrested for the sexual assault upon Kristie Chiles (the case in chief, case number C-114390).
Let me just honestly say, I was having sex with as many women at that time as I could. I claimed to be making up for lost time for the time that I was incarcerated. Yet, I would not leave Abigail, because she was pregnant with my child. Like Joanna, Kristie claimed that she did not know me, and did not have consensual sexual relations with me. Her motive for hiding the truth was different though. She had a boyfriend.
See Kristie Chiles’ Testimony, page 106:
Q: What did you do when you didn’t see him [the rapist] anymore?
A: I looked around the apartment and made sure he was all gone and then I called my boyfriend. He was on my mind the whole time.
And on page 109, it reads:
Q: After you got back to your apartment, what did you do? Where did you go?
…A: I went to look for another place to live with my boyfriend.
I met Kristie because I wanted to see whether or not I could purchase her car, a VW Bug. She said it was not running. I explained that I could work on her car for her. No prices etc. were ever discussed for work being done on her car. Kristie and I had sex three times, and during, or after one of these occassions, she asked me about fixing her car. I informed her that she would have to purchase the parts and pay for my labor. She asked me what did I think we had been having sex for? I said to her, that she should have told me this up front, so that I could decide whether or not I wanted to exchange sex in order to work on her car. I also said that, she was not having the kind of sex that I would accept as payment for the cost and labor to fix her car. She became very upset and told me to get out. I did. This is part of what I told my defense attorney about Kristie and myself. He did not make use of it.
Nothing seized at my home was used at trial
When the search warrant was executed at my then place of residence, nothing listed on the search warrant was found. The officers did take some items of clothing, yet nothing they took matched the description given in the search warrant, or the description given by the victims Kristie Chiles and Tami Zold. None of the items taken were used in either of the trials. (See Motion to Suppress (pdf, 17 pages), May 3, 1995, Case No. C-114390)
I did not have a gun and no weapon was produced at trial. However, three bullets were found underneath insolation and padding in the trunk of my fiancée’s car. The prosecution inferred to the jury from this that I had a gun. No counsel investigated any of the previous owners of the car, nor that the car was purchased from a used car lot.
The two knit caps were not identified as being 3-hole ski masks. The tape was not identified as being whitish. And the sweat clothes did not match the items requested.
I was arrested on June 30, 1993, for the sexual assault upon Kristie Chiles. When I would not plead guilty to that case, I was rebooked for sexual assault upon Tami Zold. And when I would not plead guilty to that case, I was then charged with sexual assault upon Joanna Swanson. The rapes of Kristie Chiles and Tami Zold occurred in January of 1993. Zold’s on January 18th, and Chiles’ on January 21st. However, I was tried on Chiles’ case first, because she had never seen the face of her attacker. Zold allegedly had seen the culprit. The State’s theory was that both victims had been assaulted by the same man – me. But the serial rapes did not stop after my arrest and conviction. See the newspaper articles on the left!
Medical examination and DNA evidence
Kristie Chiles Case
At the time of the arrest on June 30, 1993, Downing’s blood draw took place in the Clark County Detention Center. Also other samples were taken – probably illegally. (See Letters from the Clark County Health District (pdf, 2 pages))
Semen were identified on Chiles’ vaginal samples. The Laboratory Examination Report of November 12, 1993 shows that the DNA pattern is similar to Curtis Downing’s. This does not necessarily prove rape, because it is undisputed anyway that Chiles and Downing had had sex together.
Because the perpetrator used a condom, the semen must stem from consensual sex within the past 72 hours. Chiles pretends that she had never had consensual sex with Downing and that she did not know him. But, there is no statement from her either as to who that consensual intercourse was with within the 72 hours before she was raped.
Dr. Barton W. Butterbaugh, who physically examined Kristie Chiles’ vaginal cavity said that he did not find any pooling of secretions of fluid in the vagina. Chiles testified that she did not (want to) wash herself thoroughly, when the culprit forced her to shower, so that there still would be something for the law enforcement to test.
Tami Zold Case
The problem with the DNA evidence in Zold’s case is that the DNA test results allegedly were known before the test was completed. Something is wrong here and smells of deliberately manipulated, tampered evidence.
On February 9, 1993, Criminalist and Director of the LVMPD Forensic Laboratory states, “Semen was detected on the vaginal samples, panties and rectal smear. However, the possibility exists that there was an insufficient amount of semen present to determine the blood groups of the semen donor.”
No test results were available yet, but on October 29, 1993, Police Officer Rebecca Schell with the Clark County School Police stated in her affidavit requesting a Warrant of Arrest be issued for Downing, “That a DNA comparison of Downing and the sample recovered from the victim, Zold, show the donor to be Curtis Downing.”
The fact that Officer Schell normally could not have known the outcome of the test results (i.e. before the forensic experts!!) in October of 1993 is corroborated by Director Linda T. Errichetto’s letter of November 17, 1993, addressed to Chief Assistant District Attorney John Lukens. Errichetto wrote, “The purpose of this letter is to advise you of a telephonic conversation conducted on 11-17-93 with Melissa Webber, a scientist with Cellmark Diagnostics, as a status check on the above referenced cases. […] A report was received today on the Zold case, where a band pattern matching Curtis Downing was reported. A copy of this report is enclosed for your files. Statistical analysis of these two cases is not yet available and will be provided in separate reports.”
Curtis Lundy Downing’s appearance
Line-up (photo array):
Kristie Chiles cannot say for sure who did it, but there were a couple of men who looked similar to her rapist. She describes him in her voluntary statement as: 6’3”, 250 lbs, football build, not muscle bound, just big, flabby big, not-that-dark man.
Tami Zold cannot identify the perpetrator. In her police reports, the rapist was described as Latin/ Hispanic, Black, and White, medium/ dark complexion. Thin, approx. 6’0”, 180 lbs, full beard
Black or Hispanic?
Cellmark Diagnostics Report of Laboratory Examination:
“Using the five single-locus probes sequentially, the approximate frequencies in the Caucasian, African American, and Western Hispanic populations of the nine bands common to the DNA banding pattern obtained from the vaginal swab and the blood swatch labelled Curtis Downing are as follows:
Caucasian: 1 in 48 billion
African American: 1 in 4.5 billion
Western Hispanic: 1 in 1.2 billion”
According to her statements and testimony, Kristie Chiles was assaulted by a light-skinned, fair-skinned, not-that-dark-skinned male with a Hispanic accent which could have been legitimate.
When Chiles was in the bathroom, the man allegedly made comments about Latinos.(Voluntary Statement)
Q: What kind of comments?
A: Like, you shouldn’t talk about Latinos. This is what you get. You brought this on yourself. Just things like that.
…A: They talked about Latinos again and I, I told him that he looked black to me. And that’s when he made the comment about his parents. His mother being Latino and his father being black, and that’s why I would think that.
The man lifted up his sweatshirt and showed Chiles that his skin’s coloring “was not that dark.” She noticed that the hairs on his arms were “kinda hairy.”
More than one man?
Unlike in most rape cases, Chiles rapist allegedly was not alone. She said in her voluntary statement to the police, “They talked about Latinos again and I, I told him that he looked black to me.” “And I heard a noise at the door. I asked him who it was and he said it was his partner or something like that.” “And I asked him if his partner was going to rape me, and that’s when he said, ‘No, he doesn’t want none of you.’ The investigators ignore this statement. Why?
Was there a gun?
Chiles does not mention a gun at all until Det. Fox eventually says, “Okay. Now I understand he was armed with a gun. Would you describe that?” [Voluntary Statement, page 8]
In the police reports, the rapist’s revolver is steel blue. In Chiles’ voluntary statement, it is “black to dark brown.”
When the phone was ringing and the answering machine came on, Chiles “got up. I just stood up.” [Voluntary Statement]
“And I could feel him, his like sweatshirtish (phonetic) clothes next to me. And I grabbed hold of him. I was afraid of the dark and to hold my hands to reassure me that the gun wasn’t in his hands.”
Q: When he did that – where did he hold you?
A: He just held my hand.
When the rapist was in the doorway, the flashlight was in the assailant’s right hand. The tape was in his left hand and the gun was under his left armpit. [Downing is left handed and as such he would put a gun under his right armpit.] Where was the used condome, its wrapping, the tape of the answering machine or the white tape, and the rope?
“He was never really rough or brutal in the sense of physically harming me other than just the threatening and the gun and stuff.” (Voluntary Statement)
Q: Did he threaten to do anything, if you reported this matter?
A: Yeah. He said that he would kill me.
Q: When did he tell you that?
A: All throughout the rape and if I spoke, he would tell me to be quiet or he’d kill me or, uhm – at one point he said to me, uhm, I said, “Please, don’t shoot me.” And that’s when he said to me, “Don’t worry, I’ll strangle you like I did all the others.”
Curtis Downing’s Alibi for January 18, 1993
Downing did not have an alibi during trial due to the late arrest (5 months after the incidents). Nobody (including himself) knew exactly what they did almost a half year earlier. But now, Downing writes, “Before my mother passed, she found a pill bottle that was medication for Abigail and I, our daughter Ashley. The date on that bottle was for the date that Ms. Zold was allegedly assaulted by me. Yet, I was at UMC (University Medical Center), Quick Care picking up Ashley’s meds, and Abigail was with me.”
Downing’s note of September 9, 2014:
My mother was to be an alibi witness as to my whereabout, however, trial counsel Mark Cichoski failed to timely file Notice of Alibi Witness under the requirement of the Nevada Revised Statutes; therefore, she could not testify as an alibi witness.
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Investigation and Court Documents (Kristie Chiles’ case):
Declaration of Arrest (pdf, 2 pages)
Date of Arrest: 6-30-1993, 14:15 hrs
Preliminary Hearing Memorandum (pdf, 2 pages)
Preliminary Hearing Memorandum by Public Defender Mark Cichoski, July 30, 1993
Counsel’s investigation (pdf, 5 pages)
Request for Investigation (September 21, 1993), Report of Investigation (July 5, 1994), Report of Investigation (March 14, 1995)
Abigail Finley’s love letters of October 21, 1993 (and earlier) to her boy-friend Curtis Downing are not published here. There was no contact after November of 1993 anymore (see Report of Investigation, July 5, 1994), because something had happened between Abigail Finley and one of Downing’s brothers. Curtis Downing says that Finley was a Canadian citizen at that time, in the United States via Green Card, with her mother and a few siblings. At trial, she was a witness for the State and she testified against the father of her children. Downing says he was not contacted by his public defender prior to July 5, 1994.
Incident Report (pdf, 4 pages)
January 21, 1993
Kristie Chiles’ Voluntary Statement (pdf, 12 pages)
The transcription of a tape-recorded interview conducted by Detective J. Fox on January 25, 1993 at 11:00 hrs.
Medical Examination (pdf, 19 pages)
January 21, 1993
Property Report of Victim’s Sexual Assault Kit (pdf, 2 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 21, 1993
Forensic Laboratory Report of Examination (pdf, 1 page)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, February 17, 1993
NOTE: The report does not show Kristie Chiles’ blood grouping nor secretor status.
Report of Laboratory Examination (pdf, 1 page)
Cellmark Diagnostics, Maryland; February 10, 1994
Request for Fingerprint Comparison Processing (pdf, 2 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, June 29, 1993
Search Warrant for Downing’s Home (pdf, 8 pages)
Application, Affidavit, Search Warrant, Return and Consent to Search; June 30, 1993
Crime Scene Report (pdf, 3 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, June 30, 1993
Property Report of Downing’s Seized Items and Evidence Impound Report of Chiles’ Pantyhose (pdf, 3 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; June 30, 1993 and January 21, 1993
Declaration of Arrest and Affidavit for the Withdrawal of Whole Blood Sample (pdf, 3 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, June 30, 1993
Police Officer G. Loyal Miller’s Affidavit (pdf, 4 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, July 22, 1993
Motion to Suppress (pdf, 17 pages)
May 3, 1995, by Deputy Public Defender Kevin V. Williams
Trial: State’s Opening Statement (pdf, 12 pages)
Trial: Defense’s Opening Statement (pdf, 2 pages)
Trial: Kristie Chiles’ Testimony (pdf, 68 pages)
Direct examination: page 72 – 113
Cross examination: page 113 – 135
Redirect examination: page 135 – 140
Trial: Tami Zold’s Testimony (pdf, 15 pages)
Direct examination: page 140 – 154; no cross examination. Why?
Trial: State’s Closing Argument I (pdf, 30 pages)
Trial: Defense’s Closing Argument (pdf, 16 pages)
Trial: State’s Closing Argument II (pdf, 10 pages)
Ineffectiveness of Counsel (pdf, 25 pages)
In January of 1993, when these incidents happened, Curtis Downing lived at 4710 O’Bannon.
When he was arrested in summer of 1993, he lived with his girl-friend and two daughters at 3883 Silver Dollar.
January 18, 1993: crime scene: Clark High School, 4291 Pennwood/ Arville (west side)
Victim Tami Zold’s home: 4264 Silver Dollar
Her friend’s (Damon Rivera) home: 4337 Silver Dollar
January 21, 1993: crime scene: Kristie Chiles’ home, 4738 O’Bannon
Investigation and Court Documents (Tami Zold’s case):
Incident Report (pdf, 4 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 18, 1993, 22:30 hrs
Medical History and Assault Information (pdf, 1 page)
collected by P. Perry, January 18, 1993
Tami Zold stated (to police) that the perpetrator had washed out her vagina with gutter rain water, yet there is no report or mentioning of antibiotics provided in case of infection.
Property Report (pdf, 2 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 18, 1993
Item 1: Black Shirt, Item 2: White Pants. “Item 1 was worn by vict. during the incident. Item 2 was put on by vict. after she got home.”
Det. F. Galey’s Report about the Sexual Assault (pdf, 4 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 19, 1993, 02:10 hrs.
Crime Scene and Evidence Impound Reports (pdf, 2 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 20, 1993
Forensic Laboratory Examination Request (pdf, 1 page)
(clothing victim, semen, hair; sexual assault kit victim)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 22, 1993
Tami Zold’s Voluntary Statement (pdf, 27 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, February 22, 1993, 12:10 hrs.
Persons present during this interview are Tami Zold, Officer Rebecca Schell, Clark County School Police, and Det. K. Petronek, LVMPD Sexual Assault Detail.
Angela Vaughan’s Voluntary Statement (pdf, 16 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, January 22, 1993, 13:30 hrs.
Persons present during this interview are Angela Vaughan, Officer Rebecca Schell, Clark County School Police, and Det. K. Petronsk, LVMPD Sexual Assault Detail
Sexual Assault Investigation (pdf, 4 pages)
Clark County School District Police Department, February 3, 1993, 09:30 hrs.
Forensic Laboratory Report of Examination (pdf, 1 page)
by Criminalist Linda T. Errichetto, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, February 9, 1993
“Results of Examination: Semen was detected on the vaginal samples, panties and rectal smear. However, the possibility exists that there was an insufficient amount of semen present to determine the blood groups of the semen donor.”
Police Officer Rebecca Schell’s Affidavit (pdf, 2 pages)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, October 29, 1993
“That affiant developed the following facts in the course of the investigation of said crime to wit:
…That a DNA comparison of Downing and the sample recovered from the victim, Zold, show the donor to be Curtis Downing.
…Wherefore, affiant prays that a Warrant of Arrest be issued for suspect Curtis Lundy Downing on a charge of sexual assault 3 counts.”
Letter from Sheriff John Moran to D.A. John Lukens (pdf, 1 page)
November 17, 1993
“The purpose of this letter is to advise you of a telephonic conversation conducted on 11-17-93 with Melissa Webber, a scientist with Cellmark Diagnostics, as a status check on the above referenced cases.
…A report was received today on the Zold case, where a band pattern matching Curtis Downing was reported.”
Preliminary Hearing (pdf, 24 pages)
April 7, 1994, 09:00 hrs.
Trial: State’s Opening Statement (pdf, 13 pages)
Trial: Defense’s Opening Statement (pdf, 3 pages)
Trial: Tami Zold’s Testimony (pdf, 71 pages)
Direct examination: page 170 – 209
Cross examination: page 209 – 230
Redirect examination: page 203 – 239
Dr. Jay Fisher’s Testimony (pdf, 11 pages)
Nurse Patricia Perry Spear’s Testimony (pdf, 36 pages)
Police Officer Rebecca Schell’s Testimony (pdf, 1 page)
Criminalist Linda T. Errichetto’s Testimony (pdf, 1 page)
Trial: State’s Closing Argument I (pdf, 10 pages)
Trial: Defense’s Closing Argument (pdf, 6 pages)
Trial: State’s Closing Argument II (pdf, 7 pages)
Letters from the Clark County Health District (pdf, 2 pages)
dated September 11, 1996 and September 30, 1996
The Chief Technologist and the Supervisor both did not find any lab reports on Curtis Lundy Downing for the months of June, July, August, October, November and December of 1993, nor for the months of June, July or August of 1994.
Curtis Downing believes that these letters demonstrate:
1. That the DNA specimens (rape kit) taken from his person was a 4th Amendment violation, because it was not done for the purpose of Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), 441A.320 (See https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-441A.html#NRS441ASec320 ). This statute only allows the health authority to test the specimen collected, and there is no evidence that the Health District ever conducted said test.
2. At first the Health District indicated that it was pointed out the first samples that Metro submitted for testing was in November of 1993. (See the letter of September 11, 1996.) (Note this would have been submitted five (5) months after arrest and collection.) Next it is indicated that no lab reports for November 1993 were found.
And these two letters were signed by the exact same two staff members of the Health District. Thus, there is evidence of evidence tampering, when reviewed in light of Rebecca Schell’s October 29, 1993, request for a Warrant of Arrest Affidavit (See Police Officer Rebecca Schell’s Affidavit (pdf, 2 pages)).
3. In that affidavit at number 9 Schell states that “a DNA comparison of Downing and the sample received from the victim Zold show the donor to be Curtis Downing.”
The problem with this is the fact that “no” DNA test results were available in or prior to October 29, 1993. The first available results came in the month of November 1993. So, it was “impossible” for Schell to know that the test results showed Downing to be the donor.
NOTE: Schell did not work for Metro, so someone told her the DNA “would be a match”, or was a match, from which she took as being truthful and wrote her affidavit.
Court Minutes of Case # C-114390 (Kristie Chiles’ case)
Court Minutes of Case # C-119521 (Tami Zold’s case)
Case Search of the Supreme Court of Nevada
Tami Zold testified that it had been raining and that the rapist had washed out her vagina with the water of the gutter at the crime scene.
According to the Almanac, however, there was no rain or other kind of precipitation reported for Tami Zold’s crime scene’s location/ zip-code 89108 on Jan. 18, 1993. “Total Precipitation: 0.00 IN”
Obituary: Michael Downing (Curtis Downing’s brother), May 2011
Newspaper articles after Curtis Downing’s conviction
Police hope watch will lead to clues in attacks
Cathy Scott, 6.11.1996
A sports watch found outside a eastern valley home may be that of a serial rapist who has sexually assaulted three girls, Metro Police Sgt. Ralph Hemington said. The assailant wore gloves and covered his face.
Rapist attacks girl, 12
Cathy Scott, 7.12.1996
A rapist has molested a young girl in the Charleston Heights area, and police suspect it may be the same man who has sexually assaulted four girls across town.The suspect is described as a 6-foot, “very heavy” white man, 23 to 25 years old, with brown eyes and freckles.
Prowler may be serial rapist of eastern LV
9. 12. 1996, Sun Staff Reports
The prowler has been described as a white male, 27-32 years old, 6 feet to 6 feet 2, 200-210 pounds, muscular build, and long black hair that was tucked under a plain black baseball cap.
Police: No strong link to serial rapist
All told, about a dozen girls have been assaulted since April 1996. All the attacks occurred in the early-morning hours before dawn, and the assailant wore gloves and covered his face with a dark ski mask.
Warnings of rapist issued
The attacks occurred Jan. 16, Oct. 15, Oct. 11 and one in 1996 between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. The suspect, who wears a ski mask and leather gloves, entered three ground-floor apartments through windows and one through a second-floor balcony door, Robison said. He enters the apartments, threatens them, then sexually assaults and robs them before leaving out the apartment doors, he said.
Police find first big clue about serial rapist
First he stalks the victim, finding one who either lives alone or with another female. At around 5 a.m. he then enters the apartment through a sliding glass door, commits the rape and flees. Robison said the man always wears gloves, a hat and a mask making it impossible for victims to determine his race.
Serial rapist remains at large in Las Vegas area
He entered his victims’ apartments without leaving signs of a break-in, and police think he is getting in through unlocked windows or sliding glass doors. The rapist strikes between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Police think the man may be stalking his victims and choosing women who live alone or who live under vulnerable circumstances.
Serial rapist adds seventh victim to list
Karen Zekan, 5.19.1998
The predator deviates little from the pattern he set with the first reported case in late 1996, always dressing in black and striking in the early morning hours.
Serial rapist probe focuses on one man
Karen Zekan, 6. 4.1998
His seventh and most recent victim was asleep when the male broke into her ground-floor apartment May 18 about 4 a.m. He followed his typical pattern …– he dressed completely in black, struck in the early morning hours, and selected a victim…
St. Louis police confirm former LV resident is suspect in rapes
Rabbitt has had numerous addresses and numerous jobs over the years, police said. He lived in Las Vegas on a couple of occasions in the 1990s.
Similarities seen in serial rapes locally and in St. Louis
Rabbitt is of average height, possibly 6 feet tall, and weighs from 220 to 260 pounds. Victims of the Southside rapist have described him as ranging from 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing from 150 to 200 pounds.
Henderson rape suspect arrested in New Mexico
However, if Dennis N. Rabbitt, 42, is convicted of being a serial rapist, it won’t be for any sexual assaults committed in Southern Nevada. The statute of limitations for the crimes that were committed in and around the affluent section of Henderson has run out.
Why was the South Side Rapist so hard to catch–and why do his motives still elude us?
By Jeannette Batz Cooperman, August 2005 issue of St. Louis Magazine
Dennis N. Rabbitt
Rabbitt, dubbed the “South Side Rapist”, is a white native (with beard in photos) of St. Louis, Missouri, the “good guy” from the neighborhood, but also a pathological, extraordinary sex offender. He began raping at the age of 17 in the early 1970s and had never been caught until February 28, 1999. He is an excellent burglar. He realizes opportunities as e.g. open windows immediately. And he used to observe his potential female prey for some time before he eventually entered their homes to rape them at night. He wore socks over his hands and usually forced his victims to bath or shower after the assaults. The age of his more than 100 victims ranges from 14 through 82. Cunnilingus is very rare for serial rapists. Yet, Rabbitt performed oral sex to bring pleasure.
For a small part of his crimes, he is serving 6 life sentences in Missouri and will not be eligible for parole for 90 years. How many innocent men have been in prison for rapes people like Dennis N. Rabbitt committed?
District Judge Jeffrey Sobel
Court: Judge used coercion
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has ruled that District Judge Jeffrey Sobel “improperly coerced” a defendant to accept a plea bargain on an attempted sexual assault charge.
Sobel barred from holding judge post
CARSON CITY — The state Judicial Discipline Commission Wednesday found former District Judge Jeffrey Sobel guilty of three violations, ruling that he did try to pressure lawyers to give him campaign contributions in his 2002 re-election campaign.
Judicial conduct panel in hot spot
Sam Skolnik, 7.19.2006
A recent Los Angeles Times series about conflicts of interest involving some Las Vegas judges put a spotlight on the commission and how it operates, one of the seven current commissioners said. …Critics charge that too often the commission’s work and actions are in secret. The cases are never made public by the commission, in fact, unless it charges the judge.
District Judge Myron Leavitt
Leavitt makes third bid for state Supreme Court
Leavitt, 68, is a veteran on the campaign trail. Leavitt served two years as a justice of the peace in Las Vegas, one term on the County Commission, one term as a Las Vegas city commissioner, one term as lieutenant governor and 14 years as a district judge. He also ran once each for governor and Congress, losing both times.
Leavitt, son both doing well following kidney transplant
CARSON CITY — Nevada Supreme Court Justice Myron Leavitt says his son Jimmy doesn’t have to give him a Christmas present this year. Jimmy Leavitt, a 36-year-old lawyer in Las Vegas, donated his kidney to his 73-year-old father on Nov. 17.
Supreme Court justice Myron Leavitt dies
CARSON CITY – Nevada Supreme Court Justice Myron Leavitt, who had a public service career of more than 30 years, died Friday night at a Las Vegas hospital. He was 73 years old. Leavitt was recovering from a kidney transplant performed Nov. 17. He became ill several days ago and was taken to the hospital for a checkup.
LVMPD Detective John Fox
Detective [John Fox] suspended for alleged case neglect
Cathy Scott, 4.3.1998
Deputy District Attorney John Patrick Lukens
“Lukens moved to new post”, by Bill Gang on Thursday, Oct. 3, 1996
“Well-known Deputy District Attorney John Lukens has been transferred out of the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit that he headed for years.”
“…But office sources said the transfer had disciplinary undertones for Lukens’ surprise finale at the penalty hearing last month for convicted baby killer James Meegan. Lukens stunned the community and many in his office with his announcement during closing arguments that the death penalty was “inappropriate” for Meegan.”
John Luken’s Obituary (Aug. 10, 1944-Feb. 1, 2013)
March 30, 2014: One of Deputy District Attorney John Lukens’ cases: The case of former Las Vegas Metro police officer Ronald Mortensen
Deputy District Attorney Gary Guymon:
Galardi friend Guymon quits DA’s office
Friday, June 18, 2004
“Gary Guymon, a friend of former strip club owner Michael Galardi, who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges, and former County Commissioner Lance Malone, who was indicted on related charges, has resigned from his position as chief deputy district attorney. Guymon’s last day with the Clark County district attorney’s office was today, and he was scheduled to join the Clark County public defender’s office July 1.”
Wikipedia: Misconduct in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – Citizen Review Board
“In response to the 1997 fatal shooting of Daniel Mendoza by off duty Metro police officers, minority communities from the city joined in efforts to establish an independent citizen police review board with subpoena power and the authority to recommend sanctions for officer misconduct.”
Las Vegas Defense Group: Help for victims of “police misconduct” in Nevada, explained by Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys. People who have experienced or witnessed police misconduct have various recourses in Nevada.
A look at DNA evidence [among others also with Linda T. Errichetto, Director of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Forensics Lab]
(NPR audio production of May 24, 2004) “Dose of Reality: ‘CSI’ vs. True Las Vegas Crime Lab” by Robert Siegel
NPR’s Robert Siegel explores the differences between the world of the popular CBS crime drama CSI and the real Las Vegas crime lab where it is set. Show producer Anthony Zuiker consulted with Linda Errichetto of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Forensics Lab when he created the program a few years ago. And while she says he got many things right, the big departure from realism is in how speedy the work goes on the air. Also, the program puts the lab workers out in the field looking for evidence and dealing with suspects; all that is not part of the work of an actual Forensics Lab worker.
I was on the jury that convicted him in the first trial. His undoing was he stated that he didn’t have any sexual relationship with the victim only to change his tune when his DNA came back to him. Then it was consensual. He took the stand in his defense, big mistake, the DA had a field day with him. The 2 victims had similar encounters most notably, he pulled their shirts over their faces and made them wash after the rape. The one victim was attacked in a park and made to wash her private area in the cutter, it was raining that night, the second victim was told to shower, however the second victim was able to avoid the area enough to preserve evidence. He did try to disguise his voice as being Hispanic and he was called out on the stand by the DA asking him if he ever pretended to use a foreign accent, Mr. Downing took the bait and started talking in a British accent, his court appointed defense attorney buried his head in his hands on the defense table. He is where he belongs and the victim in my case got justice.
Rot in hell scumbag..
He is guilty and is right where he belongs!
The reason I had trouble identifying the monster is because it’s a little hard to see the perpetrator when your face is covered the entire time with your clothing – pulled up over your face. Thank god for DNA. He got caught got so give it up! I hope he’s getting raped in jail every day. He’s a pathetic human being.
I remember you testifying, I was the foreperson one the jury that convicted him on the other case.
This man is a dangerous rapist. In 1991, he assaulted me in a laundry room while wearing a Jason type hockey mask. I pulled the mask off and was able to identify him. He was incarcerated. I still fear my life and suffer from PTSD from the event. His status should not read “possibly innocent” it should read “life in prison.”