PHOENIX – An ex-con was charged in two sexual assaults linked to a serial killing investigation, but police still are not saying he is the so-called Baseline Killer believed responsible for eight deaths during the past year.
Mark Goudeau, a 42-year-old construction worker, was charged Monday with 17 felony counts in two sexual assaults that have been linked to the Baseline Killer.
Goudeau has not been named as a suspect in the numerous rapes, robberies and eight shooting deaths that have become known as the Baseline Killer case, said Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
The case derives its name from the location of the earliest crimes, Phoenix's Baseline Road. Investigators have said they connected the crimes based on forensic evidence and similarities in the way they were committed.
Police are still trying to determine whether Goudeau is connected, Thomas said.
The case is the second serial killer investigation in Phoenix during the past year. Police have arrested two men in the other, dubbed the Serial Shooter investigation.
At a news conference on Monday, Thomas said Arizona's parole board was "naive and misguided" when it granted early release to Goudeau in 2004. Goudeau had eight more years to serve on a prison sentence for unrelated assault charges.
Goudeau is accused of attacking two sisters, who were 21 and 23, in September 2005 while they were walking in a park at night. One of the sisters was six months pregnant at the time of the attack, according to police reports.
"The victims of these brutal crimes deserve justice," Thomas said. "I will do everything in my power to ensure that this defendant never again walks the streets a free man."
Defense lawyer Corwin A. Townsend said that Goudeau plans to plead not guilty to the charges. He said he intends to independently test the DNA evidence that authorities used to arrest Goudeau.
Goudeau's wife also has said he is innocent.
"This is a huge miscarriage of justice," Wendy Carr said. "And they have an innocent man in prison. This is all a mistake. He shouldn't be in prison for something he didn't do."
In the Serial Shooter case, police arrested Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel Dieteman, 30, early last month. The roommates are charged with murder and attempted murder in 16 shootings, two of them fatal. Both pleaded not guilty.