DURHAM – A man described as a serial rapist who has attacked women and young girls since the 1970s is living on Meadow Road.

Androscoggin County Sheriff’s officials said 56-year-old Ronald J. Leno has lived in Durham since last year. However, it was only recently that his status as a sex offender came to their attention after a notice of harassment was filed against Leno in Brunswick.

Police did a background check on Leno and learned that he had past convictions for sex offenses in Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Leno’s background is extensive. Court documents portray him as a sexual predator who was repeatedly released into the community.

In 1978, Leno tore the clothes off a woman he had just met in Hawaii and then raped her. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year of probation.

The same year, Leno raped an employee of a country club in Worcester, Mass., after the woman offered to give him a ride, according to court records. Leno instructed the woman to drive across a field where he then raped her. He was sentenced to five years of probation.

Also in 1978, Leno climbed through the bedroom window of a former girlfriend in Boston and raped her, the records show. Again, he was sentenced to probation.

In 1980, a law student in Boston testified that Leno raped her in her bathroom after walking her home. He was acquitted of that charge.

Also in 1980, while on probation, Leno dragged a woman into an office and raped her at a Boston cafe where he worked as a bartender. A jury convicted him in 1981 and Leno was sentenced to 20-30 years in prison. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to 9-20 years.

Leno went to prison in 1981. In 1984, he was declared a “sexually dangerous person” and committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater. He went back to prison in 1989. He was released on parole three times in the 1990s, police said. He was free a total of five years between 1990 and 1997, according to court records.

Police say Leno has been accused of suspicious behavior since he was freed. The behavior includes trying to track down former rape victims, fondling young girls and stalking teenagers.

Details of the harassment complaint filed with the Brunswick Police Department were not available.

Police were advising residents, school officials and others of Leno’s presence in the community. They were also asking that anyone with questions or concerns contact Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Detective William Gagne at 784-7361, extension 214.

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