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Man accused of raping disabled woman on bus pleads not guilty

November 15, 2012 |  7:18 am

A man accused of raping a developmentally disabled woman aboard a Metro bus has pleaded not guilty and faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors say.

Kerry Trotter -- who is on probation for a grand theft conviction in April -- was charged Wednesday with forcible rape, rape of an incompetent person and sexual penetration by a foreign object, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

He entered his plea Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say Trotter was the man who boarded the 217 Metro bus after the 18-year-old woman boarded, returning from a special education class last week.

The woman, who authorities said has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, had just recently been allowed to make the trip on her own.

The man followed her to the back of the bus and raped her for 10 minutes as the bus drove south through Baldwin Hills, authorities said. Several people were on the bus at the time, authorities said, but some exited during the attack, perhaps unaware of what was happening.

The man stopped only as the bus reached its final destination, authorities said. He then got off the bus. The victim reported the attack to the bus driver. Part of the incident was caught on a surveillance camera, and Trotter was arrested Friday morning just hours after investigators released photos of the attacker.

Records show Trotter has a criminal history dating to last year, when he was convicted of drug possession. In April, he was convicted of grand theft and sentenced to a year in jail, but he did not serve his full sentence.

In June he was arrested again, and in September admitted violating probation. He was released from jail Sept. 28. Redondo Beach police arrested him again Oct. 15 for an unknown offense, and he spent 10 days in jail.

Authorities said Trotter had been investigated on sexual assault allegations before but never charged.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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