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Man Charged in Abduction, Rape of 11 Women : Crime: Police say former security guard kidnaped victims at gunpoint as they left upscale restaurants and forced them to drive to motels.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former security guard was arraigned Friday on charges of raping at least 11 women after abducting them outside upscale restaurants and forcing them to drive to motels.

Sean Patrick Mitchell, 33, was named in a 91-count criminal complaint charging him with forcible rape, kidnaping for sexual purposes, second-degree robbery and other crimes. He was booked Wednesday at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division jail and is being held without bail.

A number of rape victims will attempt to identify Mitchell in a lineup Monday. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 22.

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Mitchell, who has no felony convictions, previously had been charged with a rape in Van Nuys, said his attorney, Douglas McCann. The case was dropped shortly before it was to go to trial because of a lack of evidence, McCann said. And court records show that Mitchell was also charged with rape, kidnaping and a lewd act upon a child, but those charges were dismissed in November, 1992.

When he was arrested early Wednesday, McCann said, “no witnesses had identified Mitchell, and there was no physical evidence tying him to the alleged rapes.”

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Beatriz Donoghue said Mitchell was with two women he had just abducted and raped when police surrounded his motel room and arrested him.

Mitchell is suspected of committing his first rape May 12, and during the next few weeks, he raped at least 11 other women, sometimes in pairs, Donoghue said.

The suspect would follow women in their early 20s leaving trendy restaurants in the Wilshire district and the Hollywood area, pulling a gun on them when they reached their cars. He then would force them to withdraw money at automated teller machines and drive them to motels, Donoghue said. He would sometimes rape one woman while the other was locked in the motel bathroom.

LAPD officers from the Wilshire and Hollywood divisions and county sheriff’s deputies from the West Hollywood station began a joint investigation into the series of rapes.

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After an incident last weekend, Wilshire Division detectives interviewed the manager of a South-Central motel where two women had been taken, said LAPD Lt. Ross Moen.

The women were kidnaped by Mitchell at gunpoint late Tuesday night as they were leaving a Hollywood restaurant and taken to the motel, Moen said.

“The manager saw an individual coming into a motel room with two females in front of him,” Moen said. “The man fit the description of the rapist.”

The manager called police and officers from the 77th Division “responded very quickly,” Moen said. They went to the room Mitchell had rented and ordered him to come out. Moen said Mitchell than gave his gun to a hysterical victim and sent her out the door.

Mitchell was arrested without incident. The women were treated at a local hospital and released.

Detectives said there may be other victims who have not come forward. They said anyone who has information about other rapes could call them at (213) 485-6411.

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