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By Courtesy Kern County Sheriff's Office
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Billy Ray Johnson Jr.'s choice of footwear could play a role in the case filed against him in connection with a series of rapes in east Bakersfield.
Shoe track evidence was left at three of the four scenes of rape or attempted rape Johnson is accused of committing last year, Kern County sheriff's deputies said in a search warrant recently filed in court.
Deputies seized the shoes and clothing the 33-year-old Johnson was wearing when first arrested on a weapons charge Oct. 14, and have since seized clothing and other items at his former residence in the 900 block of Quantico Avenue.
Deputies said in the warrant that they believe prosecutors will be able to draw comparisons from the shoe track evidence and the shoes Johnson wore, as well as the size of the clothing he wore at the time of the arrest and the clothing found at his former residence.
The items seized there included a ski mask.
The warrant also provided a description of the clothing the suspect wore in each of the four assaults:
* July 1 -- an attempted rape in the 2900 block of Virginia Avenue in which the suspect was described as wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black ski mask, black gloves and blue jeans. The victim reported an overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke around the suspect.
* July 18 -- a rape in the 4300 block of Columbus Street in which the suspect was described as wearing a black ski mask, gloves, black shorts, black and white tennis shoes and carrying a backpack.
* Aug. 1 -- a rape in the 2900 block of Virginia Avenue in which the suspect was described as wearing a black ski mask, black hooded sweatshirt, blue shorts, red shoes and carrying a backpack.
* Aug. 19 -- a rape in the 200 block of Quantico Avenue in which the suspect was described as wearing a black ski mask, gloves, black hooded sweatshirt, orange/yellow shirt, khaki pants and red shoes with green trim.
Shoe track evidence was left at the scene of the July 1, July 18 and Aug. 19 incidents, the warrant says.
Johnson is charged with 21 felonies including rape, false imprisonment and robbery, and is being held on $5 million bail. Prosecutors have said DNA evidence links him to the crimes.
Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman, Johnson's attorney, has said his client is a scapegoat, and the authorities arrested the wrong man.
Johnson's next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.