DETROIT — A 31-year-old man who has spent much of his life in prison was charged Monday with kidnapping and raping five women in Detroit in a series of sexual assaults that began on New Year's Day.
Raynard Coleman's defense attorney said his client is innocent until proven guilty, but he fears that prison may have turned him into a "monster."
Coleman's criminal record includes attempted murder. When he was paroled in 2009, at age 29, he had spent about half his life in custody.
Arias pleads for her life: 'I want everyone's pain to stop'
Asking the jury that convicted her of murder to now let her live, Jodi Arias said in a Phoenix courtroom Tuesday that she never meant to cause her victim’s family so much pain — and that if she was given a life sentence she would contribute to society.
- Crews comb Okla. rubble for survivors, victims
- Moore officials: Federal grants to help build 'safe rooms' delayed
- Silver lining: Family digs dogs out of rubble
- Tales from the tornado: Survivors speak
- Arias pleads for her life: 'I want everyone's pain to stop'
"You take a boy, you find him guilty and stick him in the belly of the beast, you create a monster," lawyer James Galen Jr. said outside court after Coleman was arraigned on more than 30 charges.
Coleman was silent as he participated via video from a police lockup. Not guilty pleas were entered, and he was denied bail.
"These charges are substantial," Galen told 36th District Court Magistrate Steve Lockhart.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said scientific evidence was critical in charging Coleman with assaults on the east and northeast sides of the city, about five miles from downtown.
"We have been very confident that this day would arrive," Godbee said.
Coleman has been charged in five of seven rapes reported since Jan. 1. He also was charged with attempted rape in a related attack. In most cases, the women were walking in darkness to or from a bus stop; police say one got out of her car after it was bumped by Coleman.
Galen said police swabbed Coleman's mouth last week for DNA. More than a dozen friends and relatives watched the court hearing but later declined to comment.
"It looks like it's going to be an uphill battle," Galen said of the case.
Godbee complimented volunteers who hit the streets less than two weeks ago, warning women that a serial rapist was at large. Indeed, some men using bullhorns walked and declared, ""There's a rapist on the loose and he's in your neighborhood!"
Only on NBCNews.com
- From belief to betrayal: How America fell for Armstrong
- US to Syria neighbors: Be ready to act on WMDs
- China: One-child policy is here to stay
- New 'Practice Range' shooter game says it’s from NRA
- 'Gifted' priest indicted in crystal meth case
- China's state media admits to air pollution crisis
- French to send 1,000 more troops to Mali
In 2009, Coleman was paroled after serving 14 years for attempted murder, assault with intent to rob and a gun crime in Wayne County. He began his sentence as a teenager in juvenile facilities but was transferred to a regular prison at age 18, said John Cordell, a spokesman at the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Coleman was paroled long after serving his minimum 10-year sentence but six years before his 20-year maximum would have expired in fall 2015.
"I can't speak to this specific case, but the parole board is not going to parole someone who it has determined through the parole consideration process to be likely to re-offend or to pose a threat to the community," Cordell said.
It was not known whether the Wayne County prosecutor's office opposed Coleman's parole. Spokeswoman Maria Miller said the file could not be located immediately.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.