VENTURA : Drifter Pleads Guilty in Sexual Assaults


A 32-year-old drifter accused of a series of sexual assaults in Ventura and Oak Park has pleaded guilty in a case in which a judge ruled that DNA evidence could be used against him at trial, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Dennis Fredman, who entered the guilty pleas to three counts of sexual assault Monday, faces up to 18 years in prison, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Matthew J. Hardy.

Had he not entered the pleas, Fredman could have received up to 32 years if convicted of the 16 charges he had faced in connection with the 1991 assaults and home break-ins.


Acting Superior Court Judge Bruce A. Clark immediately convicted Fredman and set a sentencing hearing for Feb. 10.

Hardy said the judge ordered Fredman to undergo a psychiatric examination before sentencing. Fredman has a history of substance abuse and the judge wanted to determine if it played a role in the defendant’s crimes, Hardy said.

After Fredman was arrested in 1992 on suspicion of attempting to break into his girlfriend’s home, police collected saliva and blood samples from him and matched them to DNA material found at the scenes of the unsolved sexual assaults.

In all, five women and girls were assaulted, authorities said.

Prosecutors originally charged Fredman with 27 criminal counts, but later reduced the number of charges to 16. They accepted guilty pleas on only three counts, Hardy said, because the 13 other charges probably would not have resulted in any additional prison time.

Fredman’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Gary Windom, could not be reached for comment.