PRESS RELEASE, 11/16/2006

A Hamilton County Grand Jury returns a 25 count indictment against a man who committed a series of attacks including a rape and robbery ont he Purple People Bridge

Today, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph T. Deters announced a 25 count indictment against a man who committed a series of vicious attacks against young victims. Fernando North, 31, has been indicted on charges of Rape, Aggravated Robbery, Robbery, Felonious Assault and Kidnapping.

On November 7, 2006, a young female was getting into her car on Pavilion Street in Mount Adams. The defendant approached the victim and pushed her into her car. He then threatened to kill her, hit her with a gun, and robbed her of a purse and cell phone.

One night later, on November 8, 2006, a young female was walking behind a group of friends on Vine Street from the Millennium Hotel to McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon. The defendant approached the victim, put a gun against her, and shoved her into an alley. He threatened to kill her and robbed her of a purse and cell phone.

On November 9, 2006 around 9 p.m., the defendant attacked for a third time. The defendant accosted a 19-year-old female and a 20-year-old male at gunpoint on the Purple People Bridge. He threatened to kill them and made them move to a remote location on the bridge. He bound the male with shoelaces and then proceeded to rape the young female. He took the female to the male victim’s car, drove downtown and forced her to withdraw money from three ATMs. Before dropping the female victim off at her school, Cincinnati Christian University, he took her to a remote location and raped her again.

After a 9-1-1 call was placed to police, the defendant, who was still driving the male victim’s car, was arrested downtown around midnight.

North has a lengthy criminal record starting at the age of 14. He violated parole seven times as a juvenile. When he was 18, he was sentenced to 11 to 31 years in prison following a conviction of Aggravated Robbery and Robbery for an armed robbery crime spree occurring in April of 1994. He served the minimum sentence of 11 years and was released from prison in March of 2005. Just six months later, in November of 2005, North stole a car. In March of 2006, he was sentenced to 9 months in prison. He was released November 1, 2006. In both of these cases, the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office wrote letters to the parole board strongly opposing North’s early release from prison.

Prosecutor Deters said today, “I am stunned that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction did not cause a violation to occur which would have resulted in his incarceration back in 2005. These types of violent offenders should be given absolutely no breaks when they violate their parole. We have learned this is commonplace.

Today, I have written Governor Taft urging him to rescind the policy, especially as it pertains to violent offenders.”

North is currently being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $7 million bond. If convicted on all the charges, he faces up to 148 years in prison.