Released rapist called a threat // Convict gains freedom; victims voice


  Carrie Dowling; Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 03A

  (Copyright 1995)


  A man convicted of four rapes and linked to 200 others served his time and on

  Monday walked out of a California state prison and flew to Las Vegas a free

  man, despite a prison psychologist's warning that he's dangerous.


  Neatly attired in a black dress shirt and vest, his head shaven, Reginald Muldrew

  was vague when asked if he'd been rehabilitated.


  "Well, that information will come out if they watch eventually, you know," he

  told a group of news reporters at McCarran International Airport. "So right now,

  that's still up in the air."


  Muldrew's freedom sends a chill down the spine of Susan McMillan, who drove

  400 miles to Vacaville State Prison from Pasadena, where she heads the

  Women's Coalition, which supports victims' rights.


  "I feel sorry for every woman in any town that he is in," said McMillan. "I'm just

  frustrated. I want him back in jail."


  Activists converged on the prison, northeast of San Francisco, to protest his



  "I am a rape victim and I feel that I have been raped again," one activist said. "I

  have been raped by a system that has never supported me in any way."


  Muldrew, 47, is called the Pillowcase Rapist because he put pillowcases over his

  victims' heads to keep them from identifying him and often wielded a knife to

  quiet them. He's linked to as many as 200 sex crimes in the Los Angeles area

  from 1976 to 1978, sometimes several in one night.


  In 1978 he was convicted of four rapes and 13 related sex, burglary and robbery

  offenses. He was sentenced to 25 years, but good behavior shaved nine years off

  his sentence.


  Muldrew served his parole in prison because an evaluation found he is still a

  threat, said Christine May, spokeswoman for the California Department of



  "He suffers from a mental disorder that makes him a danger to others and for

  which treatment is not available in the community," said May.


  "It is difficult for people to understand the laws under which he was convicted. .

  . . It's purely mathematical: Once you serve that sentence, we must release you."


  By law, California can't restrict his travel.


  "He has served all of the prison time that the law allows and the state can't

  restrict his freedom," said Erwin Chemerinsky, a University of Southern

  California law professor.


  California Gov. Pete Wilson, who denounced Muldrew's release, signed a

  "sexual predators law" in October, which sends sex offenders to mental hospitals

  for at least two years after their sentences are up.


  The law was signed too late to affect Muldrew. He told Las Vegas police, who

  met him at the airport to tell him he was not welcome, that he was only "passing



  He has not said where he is heading next.