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Man Dropped as Serial Molester Suspect : Crime: Police say the Van Nuys man was eliminated as a possibility in the Valley attacks after detectives questioned him.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles police Monday eliminated a 40-year-old Van Nuys man as a suspect in the serial molestations of more than two dozen San Fernando Valley children.

Robert McFadden, who was arrested Wednesday night in Van Nuys in connection with another alleged child molestation, was ruled out as a suspect in the string of attacks, police said. He was released from police custody after attending a court hearing on an outstanding traffic warrant.

Detective Craig Rhudy said that McFadden fit a description of the molester, but that he was eliminated as a suspect after being questioned by detectives.

No other suspects have been arrested in connection with the molestations and no new attacks have been reported to police, Rhudy said.

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San Fernando Valley parents reacted with fear and outrage this month after a report that a 9-year-old Canoga Park girl had been raped Nov. 3, complaining that police failed to notify them soon enough.

Police contend that they were unaware that a single suspect was attacking Valley schoolchildren until after the rape and that they subsequently conducted a massive undercover stakeout of Valley schools in an effort to arrest the molester.

The girl is one of as many as 26 victims that detectives now believe may have been victimized by a single molester. However, police caution that more than one man may be responsible for the attacks.


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