Chico rape suspect pleads not guilty
The 40-year-old Chico man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting 11 victims in the south campus area of the California State University, Chico, pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to commit a felony, and rape with special allegations in Butte County Superior Court on Wednesday.
Police arrested Lonnie Scott Keith on Saturday following a traffic stop around 3:30 a.m. in the south campus area.
Keith is employed as a physician's assistant at Oroville Medical Center and Enloe Occupational Health, is married and has four children, police reported.
The Chico Police Department said over an 18-month period, between August 2011 and October, 11 attacks involving kidnapping, attempted kidnappings and sexual assaults were reported to have occurred on the university campus. The two most recent reported attacks took place in September and October.
Victims told police a man forced them into the back seat of a dark colored sedan or larger SUV and injected them with an unknown sedative-type substance.
Two victims described the interior of the suspect's vehicles as having blankets or sheets covering the windows in the back of the vehicle, said police.
Victims reportedly described the suspect as wearing latex-type gloves and a nylon stocking-type mask over his face and binding their hands and feet with plastic zip ties and covering their eyes with tape.
Chico police said when they made the traffic stop on Keith's vehicle they saw the rear passenger compartment had blankets and bedding partially covering the windows.
Keith reportedly consented to a search during which police said they also located two syringes loaded with an unknown clear substance, latex gloves, several nylons, adhesive tape strips, and inside a concealed compartment under the front passenger seat, metal handcuffs and leg restraints, zip ties, syringes, and vials of prescription sedative drugs.
Police also located a flashlight and stun gun unit and looped zip ties in the trunk of the vehicle.
Along with the vehicle Keith was driving on Saturday, police said they seized and will process for evidence a dark-colored sedan and dark colored SUV the suspect sold in December.
The department states there is DNA evidence associated with several of the reported attacks.
There is an additional investigation being conducted by the Butte County Sheriff's Office regarding a similar type of incident in its jurisdiction.
Keith remains in the Butte County Jail on $3,200,000 bail.