Probe Continues as Man Is Arraigned in Va. Attack

By Daniela Deane and Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 8, 2008

A 40-year-old Falls Church area man who served 17 years in prison for rape has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman Wednesday night, and police said yesterday they are investigating whether he was involved in 11 other assaults in Fairfax County and Alexandria.

David Lee Foltz Jr. was charged with abduction with intent to defile and sexual battery after Fairfax police "watched him approach a woman from behind and drag her into the woods" Wednesday night, said Officer Don Gotthardt, a Fairfax police spokesman.

"The police then quickly intervened," Gotthardt said. He said Fairfax police had been "actively following" Foltz. Fairfax police then called Falls Church city police to the 600 block of Hillwood Avenue to arrest him. He is being held without bond.

During his arraignment yesterday in Arlington County, where Falls Church city cases are prosecuted, Foltz told a judge that he did not understand the abduction charge because "all I did was tackle her." General District Court Judge Richard J. McCue told Foltz that it was not the time to determine guilt or innocence.

Fairfax court records show that in September 2006, the Virginia attorney general's office was considering having Foltz imprisoned indefinitely as a violent sexual predator after he served his prison sentence. Foltz challenged the move before it was made, saying that his crime did not qualify for a civil commitment, and he asked the courts to appoint him an attorney.

But the state did not try to have Foltz committed as a predator, and he was paroled in March after serving almost 17 years of a 33-year term. Parole in Virginia was abolished after Foltz's sentencing, so he was eligible for it.

Yesterday, Fairfax police searched the yellow bungalow in the 3100 block of Lewis Place where Foltz grew up and had been living with his elderly parents since his release from prison. Police also towed a white van that Foltz drove for his job at Alexandria-based Tech24, a food service and equipment company.

Lt. Brenda Akre, head of the Fairfax police sex crimes unit, said she did not anticipate additional charges immediately in the case. "This is still an ongoing investigation," she said. She warned the public "not to let their guard down, because another suspect could be out there."

Police are investigating whether Foltz was involved in a series of 11 other assaults against women since August -- most of them sexual in nature. Most were committed by a man wearing dark clothes and a ski mask, according to police, who have not ruled out the possibility of more than one attacker. Police said Foltz was not wearing a mask, but they said he pulled his shirt up over his nose to hide his face during the Wednesday assault.

The victims, ages 18 to 63, were usually grabbed from behind by a man wearing a mask, police said. Sometimes they were punched, in most cases they were touched in a sexual way and typically they were released within a short time. None of the women was raped or seriously injured, police said.

Lt. James Bartlett, an Alexandria police spokesman, said initial reports suggested that Foltz did not fit the description given by the four Alexandria victims. Bartlett said, however, that Alexandria police are investigating a possible connection.

Foltz was arrested in June 1990 after a series of misdemeanor assaults and then confessed to a violent rape and beating in April 1986 on Oak Ridge Road, just behind his family's home on Lewis Place. The victim was in bed when a man climbed through a window and raped her, and her face was bloodied.

In his 1990 confession, Foltz told police that he had worn a mask with the eye holes cut out and rubber gloves during one of his earlier assaults. He also admitted peeping into the victim's home.

"He said he had been living with the guilt and frustration of his rape for four years, and it was very stressful," a Fairfax prosecutor wrote in a letter describing the confession.

Foltz later denied making the confession and did not testify at his trial in October 1990. A jury convicted him of burglary and forcible rape, sentencing him to 30 years. A Fairfax judge imposed all 30 years in November 1990.

Later that month, Foltz pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor sexual assaults and one assault and was given three years consecutive to his 30-year term.

On the quiet cul-de-sac where Foltz grew up as the youngest of five children, longtime neighbor Diane Faulkner said yesterday that Foltz seemed to be getting his life together after his release from prison.

Faulkner said Foltz told her son that besides the job, he also had a girlfriend.

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