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Trial of USF serial rape suspect opens today

TAMPA — The first of what could be several trials for Jerrod Pass, accused of being a serial rapist, got under way Monday.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne S. Timmerman heard a defense argument to suppress DNA evidence that a detective got on a swab from Pass after a deputy stopped him on his bicycle for not having lights about 3 a.m.

The Sheriff's Office had been running extra patrols in the University of South Florida area looking for people who matched the rapist's description.

The defense also tried to get the judge to suppress a search of Pass' storage unit, where investigators found the purse, wallet and identification of one of the rape victims.

The defense had argued that detectives had no independent information leading them to that location, only a recorded phone call from jail that Pass had with his sister, in which he insisted she "immediately" go to clean out his storage unit.

The judge denied both motions.

Pass was arrested in 2007 on multiple counts of sexual battery.

Police have accused him of attacking at least seven women between August 2003 and 2007.

One case involves nine counts of sexual battery on a victim younger than 12.

Prosecutors are expected to call their first witness today.

The state plans to prosecute each rape case with a separate trial.

Trial of USF serial rape suspect opens today 06/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 12:51am]
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