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Two men arrested in beating of sex offender in Shasta County

7-25-2007 California:

REDDING, Calif. -- Two men are accused of attacking a registered sex offender they believe had sexually assaulted a woman who was skinny-dipping at a mountain lake.

Joshua Donald Rasmussen, 25, and Brian Steven Cole, 28, both of Anderson, were arraigned Monday in Shasta County Superior Court on charges of attempted murder, assault and other crimes in connection with the July 16 attack on Kenneth Vernon Robinson, 54, a transient.

The two are accused of cutting Robinson's neck with a broken beer bottle, beating him and hitting him with rocks and sticks. A sheriff's investigative report said the men later bragged to the woman about what they had done.

The woman, of Berkeley, told police that Robinson sexually assaulted her, punched her in the face and tried to drown her while she was swimming naked at Whiskeytown Lake, a national recreation area west of Redding in far north-central California.

Robinson, who has a long history of sexual assaults, told investigators he did not attack the woman. Rather, he explained that he was demonstrating lifeguard rescue techniques, the report said.

He pleaded not guilty to sexual battery and was being held in the Shasta County Jail. Rasmussen and Cole also pleaded not guilty and were being held in the same jail. ..more.. by Associated Press

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