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‘Pacific Beach Rapist’ May Get ‘Elderly Early Parole’

He nudged her awake, whispering her name.

Kim Caldwell turned around to find a man wearing a ski mask in her bed. He had a very large knife. He knew his name. He dragged her by her ponytail and, while raping her, he spoke as if she were his girlfriend. When he left, he pulled the covers up around her and put her back in bed.

Caldwell was furious. She bought a gun and spent hours roaming the alleys hoping to catch the serial rapist. She tracked down San Diego police detectives and made his name public in her quest to arrest him.

For more than a year in the early 1990s, the attacker known as the “Pacific Beach Rapist” terrorized the community, entering homes and sexually assaulting seven women. Some he woke up while they were sleeping.

San Diego police warned that he was investigating residences, waiting to enter while his target was alone — even with a victim who had five roommates. Neighbors gathered for meetings and formed foot patrols. One woman said she had recurring nightmares because she lived near a victim and decided to move.

Kenneth Bogard, photographed in San Diego Municipal Court on July 15, 1994 in San Diego.

Kenneth Bogard, photographed in San Diego Municipal Court on July 15, 1994.

(John McCutchen/San Diego Union – Tribune)

When police arrested a suspect, his identity came as a surprise: Kenneth Bogard, 36, face of the popular local party band Dr. Chico’s Island Sounds.

A San Diego Superior Court jury convicted Bogard of rape and other charges. At his 1995 sentencing hearing, Bogard blamed his behavior on being “a sex addict.” Caldwell, who was now the face of the case, watched as a judge sentenced Bogard to 96 years and eight months in prison. And with that, she was done with him.

“Done. We did it. He’s gone. He’s not going to make it. I was done. I moved on with my life,” Caldwell recalled.

It wasn’t meant to be. A battle to reduce the population in California’s overcrowded prisons ultimately led the state to institute what’s called “elderly parole.” The most recent version makes it accessible to incarcerated people over the age of 50 and who have served at least 20 years of their sentence.

Bogard – who has served 29 years, less than a third of his original sentence – is eligible. Now 66, his first hearing was in 2019, but parole hearing officers rejected his application and set his next hearing for five years. This hearing will take place on Wednesday.

Kim Caldwell in Pacific Beach on Friday May 17, 2024

Kim Caldwell has rented a place in Pacific Beach for her upcoming parole hearing.

(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Caldwell, 63, will attend the hearing by video; most parole hearings have been conducted this way since the pandemic. She could have logged in from her out-of-state home, but instead she rented a place in Pacific Beach, to be back in the area where it happened. She wants Bogard to see the ocean over his shoulder.

“I thought I was going to die”

Helen Toma will be on video sitting next to Caldwell. Now 57, Toma was a 26-year-old student who had just returned from one of her three part-time jobs when she was attacked.

She remembers waking up one Monday night to a man in her hallway, wearing only a ski mask and red Converse shoes.

“It was May 10, 1993,” she said. “And I remember at one point I thought I was going to die. …And I remember looking at the clock at 10:27 p.m., I’ll never forget it. Never.”

Toma, who asked to use her maiden name, left her home on Oliver Street the next day. It turned out that she and Caldwell lived on the same street.

The “Pacific Beach Rapist” wore a ski mask when he attacked most of the seven victims between August 1992 and October 1993, opting for a Zorro-style mask for the last time. He returned to the first victim a month later, carrying massage oil and telling her he wanted to “fix” her, but she scared him.

He usually entered through an open door or window. He told some women that he had been watching them and told them where they were. Sometimes he spoke to them by name.

Caldwell, who worked for an airline, was attacked in August 1993. Then aged 32, she wanted to go public with her story, warn women and put pressure on law enforcement. She forced neighbors to open their meetings to the media. She also spoke to the Union-Tribune, which like most media outlets generally does not publish the name of a sex crime victim without their consent. Caldwell insisted that his name be used or no interviews would be granted. She wanted to challenge the idea that she was somehow responsible.

“Why am I hiding? I did not do it. I was sleeping in my bed,” Caldwell said in an interview last month.

Toma was having trouble moving forward. She didn’t want anyone to know and was mortified to see Caldwell on television. “I was really mad at her.” Later, she wanted to speak out and recently decided she wanted her photo published to continue her quest to keep Bogard in prison.

“I’m not afraid to show my face anymore,” she said. “It’s not about me. It’s about letting others know. »

Helen Toma at Pacific Beach on Friday, May 17, 2024 in San Diego.

Helen Toma, who uses her maiden name, decided to go public with her experience for the first time before the next parole hearing.

(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The use of DNA in court was still in its infancy in the early ’90s, but it linked the crimes to Bogard, who had previously been arrested for filming videos up women’s skirts and for public masturbation , including the time two students spotted him standing. naked in front of their window.

Several victims of the “Pacific Beach Rapist” remember these red Converse sneakers. Jurors saw Bogard wearing a pair in a Dr. Chico promotional video.

“It’s just infuriating.”

Toma said she knew Bogard wouldn’t be eligible for parole until the early 2040s, so when she received a letter in 2019 informing her of an upcoming parole hearing, it was ” a complete shock.”

Caldwell said she collapsed on her bed when she received the phone call in 2019.

“I was just on a cruise in my life. I was done (with him). She said the notification transformed her world “like an inverted pyramid turned on its tip.”

She attended this hearing by speakerphone. Although he was denied release, she is frustrated that he could find himself before a parole board every three or five years.

“I don’t even do it — I’m really speechless, because it’s just infuriating,” Caldwell said.

In 2014, a panel of three federal judges tasked with forcing California to reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons ordered the state to begin considering parole for people ages 60 and older who have served at least 25 years. their pain. Bogard quickly became eligible and had his first parole hearing at age 61.

In 2021, state law was amended to expand eligibility to inmates age 50 or older who have served 20 years of their sentence. The list of those whose crimes make them ineligible is relatively small and includes those who face the death penalty, are serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole or who have murdered a law enforcement officer.

According to data from the state Parole Hearing Board, nearly 8,300 people had a parole hearing last year. About 3,400 of them — 42 percent — were eligible because of their elder parole.

Getting a hearing does not guarantee release. Last year, two-thirds of those who were eligible for elder parole and had a hearing were not released. The previous year, three-quarters of elderly candidates had been rejected during their auditions.

“A very, very scary man”

Assistant District Attorney John Cross said he could not talk about the details of Bogard’s case until the next hearing. Transcripts of Bogard’s hearing five years ago show that now-retired assistant district attorney Richard Sachs implored hearing officers to keep Bogard in custody.

“You don’t go into someone’s house with a knife and force that person to have sex because you’re a thrill-seeking sex addict,” Sachs explained. “You are doing this because you are a mentally disturbed criminal.”

“This man is a very, very scary man,” Sachs said. “He’s a sexual psychopath.”

Kenneth Bogard, December 15, 2011

Kenneth Bogard, December 15, 2011

(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

The name of Bogard’s current attorney was not available. Five years ago, the lawyer representing Bogard acknowledged his client would never be able to change the fact he committed “atrocious crimes” but said he could change what happened today today and tomorrow.

At that 2019 hearing, she said Bogard’s standardized assessment found he was a “moderate risk,” that he had performed well in prison and had found religion.

Bogard told parole hearing officers that he spoke softly to the women and that at the time of the assaults he thought he was “not really a bad guy.” I’m a nice guy even though I did that.

“My brain wasn’t thinking straight,” he said.

Bogard, who is being held in a Salinas Valley jail, apologized to several people and to San Diego as a whole “for instilling fear in much of the city.”

Both hearing officers denied his request for parole, finding he posed an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety.

They said he could have another parole hearing in five years. A few years later, Bogard requested that the hearing be brought forward earlier. His request was refused.

California Daily Newspapers

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