A 39-year-old Lynwood man pleaded not guilty last week to multiple felony counts charged against him in connection with a recent burglary spree that involved the sexual assaults of three older women in Long Beach.
Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. faces 14 felony counts, including one count each of sexual battery by restraint, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first-degree burglary, criminal threats, second-degree robbery and elder abuse, two counts of forcible rape and three counts each of first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.
Farmer’s suspected accomplice, Lynwood resident Sophia Kim, 31, was charged with one count each of first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present.
Farmer and Kim both pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the district attorney’s office. They are scheduled to return on March 14 to the Long Beach Superior Courthouse.
Farmer is charged with going on a burglary crime spree between February 2 and 9, according to authorities. During the burglaries, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted two women ages 63 and 90.
He is also charged with sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman on January 20. Yim is charged with helping Farmer commit a burglary and robbery on February 9, authorities added.
The criminal complaint also alleges Farmer was convicted of an attempted second-degree robbery in 2007 and second-degree robbery in 1999.
Farmer faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison if convicted as charged. Yim faces up to six years in state prison.
Farmer is being held without bail. Yim’s bail was set at $50,000.