A Chico-area physician assistant was arrested Saturday for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting multiple women over the past 18 months, police say.
Lonnie Scott Keith was taken into custody by Chico Police Detectives early Saturday morning, according to a release. Officers pulled over Keith’s sedan in the South Campus area after seeing a traffic violation.
The officers noticed that the rear passenger area had blankets and bedding covering the windows, so a search of the entire car was done – with Keith’s consent, police note. The officers then discovered a plethora of equipment Keith allegedly used in the sexual assaults.
Police had been investigating numerous sexual assaults, the last being in September and October of 2012. In each assault, a man forced college-aged woman into the back of his car. He would then inject her with a substance that would sedate the woman. Police note that at least one of the women was then sexually assaulted.
In the September incident, a dark-colored sedan was used; while in the October incident, a dark colored SUV was used. But, in each assault, the women reported that the cars had blankets or sheets to try and conceal the windows.
Further, police say both women reported having their hands and feet bound with zip ties, along with their eyes covered with tape. The suspect also reportedly wore a nylon stocking over his face in both incidents; reportedly wearing a latex or rubber glove in one incident.
Police found Saturday that Keith had two syringes loaded with an unknown substance, rubber or latex gloves, several nylons and adhesive tape cut into strips in the covered back-seat area.
Later, police found more stuff below the car’s front passenger seat, including metal handcuffs, metal leg restraints, plastic zip ties, more syringes, vials of prescription drugs that they say have sedating effects and more latex gloves. More zip ties and a combination stun gun and flashlight were found in the car’s trunk.
The vials allegedly have the same substance found after a toxicology report was done on the October kidnapping victim.
Authorities believe that the car was staged for more assaults.
Police later learned that Keith sold the SUV believed to have been used in the other assault back in December. That vehicle has since been seized and is being processed for evidence.
A part-time physician assistant at the Oroville Medical Center and Enloe Occupational Health, police note that Keith is married with four children and doesn’t have an arrest record.
According to an official at Enloe Occupational Health Services, Keith does not have access to the medication he allegedly used on the women.
The center provides medical services for employers, including drug and alcohol testing to screening for work-related injuries.
Andria Borba contributed to this report.