‘Epidemic of fear’: Serial rapist pleads guilty
DENVER – A man accused of raping or beating 10 people in the Denver area, including two 11-year-old girls and their grandmother, admitted the attacks Wednesday to a shocked judge who ordered a prison term of more than 1,300 years.Brent J. Brents, 36, was accused in the attacks – including sexual assaults of seven women and the two girls – from October 2004 to Feb. 18.Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt, who told Brents he caused an “epidemic of fear to the community,” ordered the maximum sentence on each count. District attorney’s spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said the total was 1,319 consecutive years and Brents could never serve enough time to be eligible for parole in his lifetime.”You chose victims who were vulnerable,” the judge told Brents. “Every one of the crimes was an act of unspeakable cruelty.”Brents was arrested in February in Glenwood Springs, about 150 miles west of Denver, driving a stolen car that belonged to one of the victims.He previously served time in prison and a state hospital for raping a young boy and a girl.Brents had been arrested but released by police in the Denver suburb of Aurora last fall despite allegedly confessing to inappropriately touching an 8-year-old boy. Police chief Ricky Bennett resigned in March amid a barrage of criticism over the decision to set Brents free.Brents still faces eight felony counts including sexual assault, kidnapping and sexual assault on a child in Arapahoe County, which encompasses Aurora. He was scheduled to appear before a judge Friday to enter a plea, district attorney’s spokesman Mike Knight said. Those counts allege attacks against two people.In Denver, Brents pleaded guilty to charges including sexual assault, sexual assault on a child, child abuse, attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and aggravated motor vehicle theft.Kimbrough said the only word Brents’ said in the courtroom Wednesday was “guilty,” repeating the word 68 times as the judge asked for his plea for each charge.Police used DNA analysis to link several crimes early this year to Brents. On Feb. 11, a knife-wielding man sexually assaulted a 29-year-old woman in her home in an upscale neighborhood near downtown Denver. Three hours later, a 44-year-old woman was raped in her business nearby, court documents said.Three days later, a knife-wielding man raped two 11-year-old girls and their 67-year-old grandmother after bursting into a home in the Cheesman Park neighborhood, one of the city’s oldest and most exclusive areas.On Feb. 18, another woman was brutally beaten and robbed in a vacant apartment in the same area where the other five Denver assaults were reported.One of Brents’ alleged victims died of a drug overdose in April, according to prosecutors and the Denver coroner.
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