A sexual predator who drugged and raped victims who were lost and in need of directions at the Richmond BART Station is facing multiple life prison sentences after a jury convicted him on 25 counts Wednesday.
Louis Coleman, 41, was connected to two separate but similar kidnapping cases last year — one involving a 12-year-old girl and the other a 25-year-old woman.
In both cases, the victims inadvertently ended up at the Richmond BART Station, where they met Coleman, who pretended as if he wanted to help them find their way to their destinations. Instead, both ended up drugged and repeatedly raped, police said.
The first known incident occurred June 10 of last year, when Richmond officers responded to Children’s Hospital in Oakland about the sexual assault case involving the 12-year-old, which occurred two days earlier.
The young victim became lost on the BART train from Hayward while on her way to Union City, and ended up at the Richmond BART station. There, she encountered Coleman who told her he would help her by taking her to Union City.
Coleman walked her to a parked car near the Civic Center Motel, where he forced her to ingest narcotics. The victim fell asleep and the next morning, Coleman stole a blue van from a nearby auto lot and drove the girl to a secluded area where he forced her to ingest more narcotics and proceeded to rape her.
He continued to driver her around, ending up at an abandoned house in the 2100 block of Grant Street, where he raped her again. Coleman then drove the victim Oakland and kicked her out of the car, where she received help and he drove away, police said.
From just that terrible incident, police didn’t have much information about the suspect, but then an investigation had been launched into a similar case just nine days earlier.
On June 1 of last year, a 25-year-old woman similarly became lost on the BART train, ending up at the Richmond station where she met Coleman. She asked him for directions to a bank in the El Cerrito Plaza, and Coleman pretended to be helpful.
He walked her to the abandoned house in the 2100 block of Grant Street.
“Before the victim realized Coleman wasn’t really helping her, Coleman produced a firearm and threatened her,” police said. “He forced her into the abandoned house, forced her to ingest narcotics and proceeded to rape her. Coleman then took her to a few other houses where he continued to force the victim to ingest more narcotics and raped her multiple times for the next three days.”
The victim eventually escaped while Coleman was in the process of renting a hotel room and became distracted, police said.
Those two cases were connected on June 11 last year, when police responded to the 2200 block of Visalia Avenue after a resident called about an occupied, parked blue van. The van was reported stolen and so the occupant — Coleman — was arrested and found in possession of a white iPhone.
The blue van was linked with the assault of the 12-year-old, and that white iPhone belonged to the 25-year-old victim. Both victims later identified Coleman as the suspect.
“The detectives also learned that Coleman had a previous sexual assault conviction for raping a 12 yr. old, 25 years before,” police said.
He was charged an convicted on 25 counts of sexual assault, kidnapping and theft of a car.
“The department is proud of the officers’ and detectives’ investigative actions and teamwork that led them to the arrest and ultimately, the conviction of a predator who preyed on the innocent,” Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said. “We hope the multiple convictions help the victims recover quickly and become victors from this heinous crime.”