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Rapist Gets Life for 4 Attacks

Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles judge Tuesday sentenced a man to life in prison for sexually assaulting four older women in Hancock Park and Hollywood in 2002.

Gary David Johnson, 44, received three consecutive terms of 50 years to life for multiple sexual assault counts, plus 35 years and eight months for robbery and burglary.

“It was a very appropriate sentence,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Sam Dordulian said, that “allows us to make sure he never gets out and harms other women.”

Johnson’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Rudy Navarro, said his client would appeal the sentence.

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Navarro originally argued that Johnson was incompetent to stand trial. In February 2004, after state and defense psychiatrists agreed, a judge sent Johnson to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, where authorities later deemed that he had recovered enough to be tried.

He was convicted March 11 of 22 counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, robbery, burglary, false imprisonment and elder abuse. Dordulian said Johnson had a prior criminal record in California, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina.

Johnson was arrested in August 2002 after police circulated a composite drawing of a rapist who had been entering homes in the Mid-Wilshire and Fairfax districts.

The attacks typically occurred between midafternoon and early evening. Johnson broke into some homes and talked his way into others, police said. The victims were 75 to 89.

A few days after the last attack, a volunteer for a nonprofit Jewish medical emergency group spotted a man who resembled the suspect.

The volunteer, who was later joined by two rabbis, followed Johnson by car. They watched the suspect wander about the area, order ice cream and ring a doorbell. After consulting the sketch of the suspect, they called police.


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