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‘Security Building Rapist’ Pleads Guilty, Faces 65 Yrs.

Times Staff Writer

Paroled killer Ronald Nelson Melvin Jr., the so-called “security building rapist,” pleaded guilty today to 29 felony counts involving 17 victims in the mid-Wilshire area, most of whom were sexually assaulted while they were arriving home from school.

Under the plea arrangement in Los Angeles Municipal Court, the prosecution agreed that Melvin, 28, would not be sentenced to more than 65 years. Deputy Dist. Atty. Keith Schwartz said Melvin could have faced 120 years had he been convicted in a jury trial.

But Schwartz said outside the courtroom that he was certain Nelson would be imprisoned for a long time. “He will be in no condition to do this to anybody else” when he gets out, the prosecutor said.

In most cases, according to police, Melvin followed his victims home from school and forced them at knifepoint to go with him to a secluded area of the apartment building so he could rape them.

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Most of the victims were between 8 and 17 years old. Schwartz said parents of the girls told investigators of the “tremendous psychological upheaval” their daughters had experienced and asked him to spare them the further ordeal of testifying in court.

Nelson was originally charged last month with 26 counts, including kidnaping, forcible rape, assault with intent to rape, attempted rape, assault with a deadly weapon and child molestation. But three new charges, involving two additional teen-age victims, were added after investigation.

Blackwell set a hearing date for May 12 to determine when Melvin should be sentenced.

Melvin was paroled three years ago after serving seven years on a manslaughter conviction in New York for killing a 17-year-old girl, authorities said.

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