Sleeping Intruder Served Time for Rape : Burbank: Police say the man was convicted in a 1985 attack. He was also arrested and released in 1976.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A man found asleep by a Burbank woman in her bed two days ago had previously served time in prison in one rape and was arrested but released for a lack of evidence in another, police said Monday.

Robert Charles Waddell of North Hollywood--who told police he didn't know how he ended up in the woman's house or bed--on Monday remained in the Burbank City Jail on $20,000 bail. The Burbank city attorney's office filed a misdemeanor count of trespassing against Waddell, 41, in connection with the incident that occurred early Sunday.

"Although he does not offer any explanation why he entered the residence, I'm firmly convinced this lady is an extremely lucky person when viewed with his criminal background and history," Burbank Police Sgt. Don Goldberg said.

Waddell was convicted by a jury and sentenced to prison in September, 1986, for forcible rape, according to court records. He served two years and was paroled, police said.

The records indicate that in March, 1985, Waddell had volunteered to accompany a widow who had three small children home at 3 a.m. after she left a gathering of friends. He then raped her, the records show.

Friends and relatives who wrote to the court in Waddell's behalf described him as a Vietnam veteran with an alcohol problem. One of four children, he grew up on military bases.

A friend said Waddell had worked with activist Ron Kovic "to bring the plight of Vietnam veterans to national prominence."

In 1976, Waddell was arrested by Los Angeles police on suspicion of rape but no charges were filed by the district attorney's office, Goldberg said.

On Sunday, Waddell was found by a 32-year-old Burbank woman, who was not identified, when she was awakened by his breathing. Police said he was drunk.

The woman, whose husband was away on business, snuck from the room with her 1-year-old daughter and alerted another resident of the rented house and called police. When police arrived, Waddell was still sleeping.

Waddell told officers at the time that he thought he lived at the house, Goldberg said. When questioned Monday, however, Waddell told detectives he was drunk at the time and does not remember how he got to the house or why he was there, police said.

Waddell did remember drinking at a couple of bars in the area Saturday night, including one just three blocks from the Burbank woman's house, Goldberg said.

Tests performed after he was arrested showed a blood-alcohol level about double the .08% legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, Goldberg said.

Times staff writer Penelope McMillan contributed to this story.

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