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‘Impostor Rapist’ Receives 322-Year Sentence

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A man known as the “impostor rapist” because he sometimes impersonated a police officer to get close to his victims was sentenced Thursday to 322 years in prison.

Wayne Taira was found guilty three months ago of forcible rape, kidnaping and assault of eight women, and attempting to kidnap a ninth. The crimes were committed during a five-month period in 1986 and 1987. Four victims were students, and one was 13 when she was attacked.

The 33-year-old former laborer said nothing as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Ouderkirk handed down the maximum term possible, saying he wanted to “make sure Mr. Taira is never, ever released from state prison.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Ronald Geltz, who prosecuted the case, said Taira “deserves every day of those 322 years.”

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Before serving his term in California, Taira would have to complete a 50-year sentence in Oregon for robbing and kidnaping two women there.

Taira was charged with the Los Angeles-area rapes after his arrest in Oregon for sexual assault in 1987. An officer there remembered a flyer from Los Angeles authorities about a serial rapist and contacted Los Angeles police.

Taira, born and raised in Southern California, had served a prison sentence at the state prison in Chino for forcible oral copulation. During the trial, victims said Taira used a similar method of attack, usually cutting them off with his car as they walked or jogged. At times, Taira would say he was a police officer, some testified, before forcing them into a sedan.

The 13-year-old was walking to King Junior High School in Los Angeles. Another victim was riding a bicycle in Griffith Park and was forced off the road.

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Ouderkirk said he hoped that his sentence would ensure that Taira “will never victimize any of these women again or their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.”


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