They sat close to one another in the last row of a Fairfax County courtroom yesterday -- a teacher, an architect, a real estate agent, a police officer -- four women who were victims of the same attacker.
Their eyes were riveted on Brian S. Kunkle, 28, of Herndon as Judge Barnard F. Jennings read the five charges against him in Fairfax County Circuit Court: aggravated sexual battery, two counts of attempted abduction with intent to defile, attempted aggravated sexual battery and rape.
Kunkle pleaded guilty to each felony charge, four of which were reduced, occasionally glancing toward the back of the courtroom. He could receive a maximum sentence of life plus 45 years in prison, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lorraine Nord- lund.
Nordlund said all of the five victims, one of whom was not in court yesterday, were working alone at night between March 1984 and October 1985 in office buildings in the Reston or Tysons Corner areas when they were attacked.
Each was knocked to the ground, held by their attacker's knee and most were told to remove their clothes. "I just want to look," they said the attacker told them.
"One of the major decisions we had was whether or not to bring in each of the women who had been attacked," said Nordlund. "However, each time we spoke with them they told us they felt so strongly about the case that they wanted to tell either the judge or the jury for themselves what they had gone through, even though they knew they would probably end up in tears on the stand."
"The pattern was the same in all of them," said Officer Connie Curran, a spokeswoman for the police department. Because of the pattern, police placed a decoy -- Officer JoAnne G. Studer -- inside the office building where the last attack had occurred, Curran said.
Studer, who was wired so that officers outside could hear her during the three-week stakeout, testified yesterday that she was in the restroom when her fellow officers warned her that the suspect was entering the office building. She said that when she left the restroom and saw the man, her last word before she was attacked was "Don't!" Kunkle, who was partially undressed, knocked her to the ground, injuring her, before the officers arrested him, she said.
One by one, the victims were called to the stand by Nordlund yesterday. One cried as she told the judge how Kunkle raped her and then told her if she came out of the restroom after the attack that "he'd kill me." She said she covered herself with a sweater left in the office by a co-worker and called police. "I figured that if I was going to die I wasn't going to touch any of the evidence and he was going with me."
The victim of an attack last July 23 testified that she saw a man when she left her office building late that night but thought he, too, was working late or wanted to ask her for directions. As she reached the curb, "he jumped me, knocked me over . . . held me down," she said. "I was terrified."
The woman said that now any "quick, sudden motions" cause her to become tense and start the adrenaline flowing. She said she regularly has nightmares about what happened.
The prosecutor said that after Kunkle's arrest, he was charged in the other attacks as the result of matching footprints, a palm print on a rubber boot, fingerprints, a car registration taken from a victim and a ring noticed by another.
One of Kunkle's attorneys, Thomas E. Gallahue, said that his client had worked as a night auditor at several motels in the area before his arrest. Judge Jennings ordered Kunkle held without bond yesterday at the county jail until his March 7 sentencing.