By Associated Press
Spokane, Wash. A man charged with abducting and sexually assaulting Japanese students has pleaded guilty 10 days before his trial was to start.
Edmund Ball, 40, entered the plea Friday to three counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of witness tampering stemming from the abductions of three Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute students last Nov. 11, KREM-TV reported.
Ball could face 21 to 28 years in prison during sentencing scheduled June 10.
Ball and David M. Dailey were scheduled to go on trial June 4.
Dailey, 38, pleaded innocent to similar charges, in addition to two additional charges of attempted first-degree kidnapping and two counts of second-degree assault by torture in the abductions of two Eastern Washington University exchange students Oct. 28. Those students escaped their abductors.
Prosecutors contend the women were targeted because their attackers felt Japanese cultural traditions would make them reluctant to report the crimes.
In late March, Lana C. Vickery, 43, pleaded guilty to single counts of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping in a plea agreement that dropped several counts of kidnapping and assault. Vickery admitted helping abduct and rape two students from Mukogawa, a branch of a Japanese womens college. The trio of attackers videotaped themselves sexually assaulting the students over seven hours, court documents indicate.