May 13, 1997 in Nation/World

Comedian Suspected In Rapes

Associated Press

A comedian who worked the college circuit is a suspect in a string of campus rapes across the Midwest in which the attacker spit on his victims, quizzed them about their sex lives and asked them to pray for him.

Vinson Horace Champ, 35, of Los Angeles was charged with attempted rape after he allegedly attacked a student May 6 in a piano room at Pasadena City College.

His arrest prompted a flurry of inquiries from police departments in the Midwest, where a rapist targeted women in college computer labs and music rooms in February and March.

FBI agent Tom Richardson in Omaha said police departments in at least four states - Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin - are investigating Champ in connection with four rapes and two attempted rapes.

The entertainer, who drove a BMW and lived in an apartment in Hollywood, performed in at least nine states during the first three months of this year, Pasadena College police Officer Ralph Evans said Monday.

He was arrested Wednesday, the day after two witnesses heard student’s screams and got Champ’s license plate number as he fled, police said. Champ was freed from jail Friday on $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled June 10 in Pasadena.

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