MURRIETA — A West Covina man faces multiple life terms in prison after being convicted this week of four rapes, including one in which his victim fought back by biting off a portion of his tongue.
A Riverside County jury found Ronald Douglas McGowan Jr., 34, guilty of twelve felony charges connected with the sexual assaults of four women Tuesday, Riverside County District Attorney’s spokesman John Hall said. Jurors Wednesday determined that McGowan will be sentenced as a third-strike offender when he returns to court Oct. 7.
McGowan was already a convicted sex offender for sex crime convictions in Sonoma County in 1995 when he attacked a Murrieta woman inside her apartment on June 5, 2009, investigators said.
The woman called 9-1-1 to report being raped and beaten, Hall said in a written statement.
“When officers arrived a short time later, the rapist was gone but he left behind a portion of his tongue — about the size of a 50-cent piece — which the victim had bitten of and spit out during the attack,” he said.
McGowan than badly beat and choked the woman, and stole her cell phone, officials said.
As the woman was being interviewed by Murrieta police at a hospital, “police were notified that a man was at the same hospital saying he cut his tongue on a can,” Hall said. Doctors were unable to re-attach the severed portion of tongue.
The Murrieta victim told investigators she was working as a prostitute at the time of the attack, and that she met McGowan through a website on which she advertised “erotic services” before she was beaten, raped and robbed, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
When reports of McGowan’s arrest found there way into the media, three additional women came forward to report being raped by the West Covina man, Hall said.
One of the victims was McGowan’s ex-wife, who reported he had beaten and raped her numerous times between June of 2007 and January of 2009, according to officials and court documents.
A third woman, a former co-worker of McGowan’s, also came forward to report he had raped her in January of 2009, according to officials and records.
Another woman, also an admitted prostitute who met McGowan online, also came forward to report being pinned down, choked, raped and robbed by McGowan in April of 2009.
McGowan was ultimately convicted of three counts of rape, four counts of rape of a spouse, two counts of assault with force likely to create great bodily injury, robbery, sodomy by force or fear, and use of force causing serious bodily injury.
PHOTO of Ronald McGowan courtesy of the Murrieta Police Department