Suspect admits to two rapes, arraignment charges say

RANDOM: Both women were attacked as they walked home.

August 9, 2009 

Richard Simon, Jr., 18, raises his right hand during his arraignment Aug. 9, 2009, on two counts each of sexual assault and assault.

BILL ROTH / ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS Buy Photo

A man who lives with his mom and recently turned 18 years old admitted Saturday to raping two women in Midtown, according to the charges against him.

Prosecutors revealed the admissions by Richard Simon Jr. in felony charges filed Sunday. Police arrested him Saturday morning with grass stains on his knees less than half an hour after they say he beat and raped a woman near Indiana Street and 40th Avenue. Simon is also accused of attacking a different woman as she walked home July 31.

During the first attack, the broad-shouldered, baby-faced teen punched the victim in the mouth and dragged her onto the grass, the charges say. He threatened to kill her if she fought back, and rode his bicycle home after he raped her, police say.

The victims didn't know their attacker, according to the charges, and Simon appeared to choose the women at random. He's now in jail on $75,000 bail but police still have work to do -- including finding any other potential victims.

"Police will be looking at this individual for other crimes that might fit this pattern," said police spokesman David Parker.

"Sexual assault tends to be a serial crime when you're dealing with victims and suspects who don't really know each other," he said.

Investigators don't believe Simon was behind a pair of sexual assaults July 27 in Fairview and are still looking for the suspect in that case -- a heavyset man who is 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Police are also continuing to investigate the death of a woman whose body was found Friday morning in a park on the edge of downtown. Spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said it's still not clear how the woman died. An autopsy is planned for as early as today, she said.

Simon appeared in court Sunday at the Anchorage jail, sitting by himself in yellow and pink prison garb as Committing Magistrate Carmen Clark talked to women prisoners about their theft charges and probation violations. Chin down, he studied the charges against him like a football player reading a playbook: Two counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of third-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault.

The earrings he wore in a mug shot provided by the police department Saturday were nowhere to be seen.

When it was time to talk to the judge, Simon said little. He's had a lawyer before, but he can't remember when, he said. Asked how he made a living, Simon said he lives with his mother. A public records database shows that as recently as 2006, Simon was a resident of the Lower Yukon River village of Emmonak.

The judge appointed a public defender to represent him.

The charges against Simon describe a pair of savage sneak attacks on women who were walking home. During the July 31 assault, he tried to talk to a woman in the area of 33rd Avenue and Denali Street before jumping off his bicycle and punching her, the charges say.

About 3 a.m. Saturday, police say, Simon attacked another woman as she walked home from a party. The victim tried to fight back, she told police, telling him no and yelling for help.

But Simon began to "box her," the charges say, hitting her in the face and telling her not to fight. Like the earlier victim, he threatened to kill her.

He left her nude, Lammers said, with a cut, swollen face and fractured ribs.

Police spotted Simon -- who matched the description of the attacker -- at 3:38 a.m. near 36th Avenue and Eureka, Lammers said. The victim identified him as the man who raped her.

At first Simon said he didn't know either woman and hadn't done anything to them, the charges say. But told he'd been identified by both women, the charges went on, he admitted to the rapes.


Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or e-mail khopkins@adn.com.

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