MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Authorities Thursday charged a man they believe raped as many as two dozen mall workers dating to 1999, and who allegedly sexually assaulted several children, capturing some of those assaults on video.

Investigators said they connected Fred D. Perry, 34, to the cases after he allegedly tried to abduct a girl at gunpoint from a hotel in February. Days later in a separate child pornography investigation, the FBI arrested Perry at his home and seized videotapes and CD-ROMs that allegedly show the child sexual assaults, which involve five victims under age 13.

Prosecutors filed a complaint charging Perry with two of the sexual assaults they attribute to the so-called mall rapist, who attacked female mall workers in Madison in parking lots or as they worked alone in their stores. He also is charged with assaulting a third woman who was walking to a friend’s house when she was raped by a motorist who had asked her for directions.

Perry, of Stoughton, was charged with 41 felony counts involving the three rapes – including false imprisonment and kidnapping – and 31 counts related to the child abuse. He also was charged with kidnapping in the hotel abduction attempt, during which prosecutors say his image was captured on the hotel’s security surveillance camera.

Perry is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. His attorney, Charles Giesen, did not return a telephone message Thursday.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard said investigators pursued Perry after realizing he matched the description of the mall rapist. Three victims identified Perry’s mug shot or pointed him out in a police lineup, according to the criminal complaint.

DNA tests linked Perry to the scene of one of the assaults in the complaint and another rape in Roscoe, Ill., prosecutors said.

Perry, who is being held in the county jail, faces sentencing next week in federal court after pleading guilty to creating child pornography.

Madison police Lt. Jay Lengfeld said the department’s investigation into Perry is continuing.

AP-ES-07-15-04 2022EDT



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