Image: Altemio Sanchez
Charles Lewis  /  Pool via AP
Altemio Sanchez, left, stands with his attorney Andrew LoTempio, in Erie County Court in Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty to murdering three women, including two whose bodies were found on bike paths.
updated 5/16/2007 2:25:09 PM ET 2007-05-16T18:25:09

A man prosecutors suspect of preying on more than a dozen women as the “Bike Path Rapist” pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering three women since 1990, including two whose bodies were found on bike paths.

Altemio Sanchez, 49, was arrested earlier this year after DNA evidence linked him to a series of rapes and killings in the Buffalo area.

Sanchez faces 25 years to life in prison on each of the second-degree murder counts. He admitted killing each of the women during a court appearance Wednesday.

University at Buffalo student Linda Yalem was raped and strangled on a bike path near campus in 1990; Majane Mazur found raped and strangled on a Buffalo street two years later; and Joan Diver was found strangled along a bike path last fall.

“The case against him in each of the three homicides was overwhelming,” Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark said after the pleas.

Clark said investigators have tied Sanchez to 8 or 9 rapes and suspect him in a dozen more dating back to as early as the late 1970s.

Another man served 22 years in prison for two rapes that are now tied through DNA to Sanchez. Anthony Capozzi’s convictions were erased last month.

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