Spokane abduction and rape suspect pleads innocent

Herald staff

A man accused of leading a sadomasochistic sex ring pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges of abducting and raping Japanese college students.

Edmund F. Ball, 40, remained in jail on $1 million bail. A trial date was set for Jan. 22.

Ball pleaded innocent to three counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of intimidating a witness.

On Tuesday, two other defendants also pleaded innocent to kidnap, rape and assault charges. David M. Dailey, 38, and Lana C. Vickery, 43, faced the same charges as Ball, plus two additional counts each of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault by torture.

Prosecutors allege two Eastern Washington University students were offered a ride by Vickery and Dailey near downtown Spokane on Oct. 28. They were shocked with a stun gun after climbing into the car, but managed to escape.

On Nov. 11, prosecutors say, three students waiting for a bus near the Mukogawa Fort Wright campus were offered a ride by Vickery. They were taken to a remote area where, court papers say, Ball and Dailey were waiting.

  • New regulations for shorelines: Despite protests from farmers, property owners and developers, state Department of Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons on Wednesday signed new rules governing shoreline development on public and private land. The new regulations set buffer zones along shorelines, regulate placement of docks and bulkheads, and instruct local government to give preference to "water dependent" uses along shorelines.

  • WSU fraternity suspended: Washington State University has withdrawn recognition of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon after a board concluded it violated policies governing alcohol use. The University Conduct Board found the chapter guilty of sponsoring "open bars" during the fall semester where liquor was served to minors in violation of school policies.

  • Alaska rocked by earthquake: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 caused minor damage Wednesday and was widely felt from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The quake hit at 1:36 a.m. and appeared to be fairly shallow, about six miles beneath the surface. It was centered about 40 miles west of Denali National Park, 100 miles southwest of Fairbanks and 190 miles north of Anchorage.

  • Four sue insurance company over repairs: Four Oregon auto body shops are suing Farmers Insurance Co. for $10 million, saying they have lost millions of dollars because of a Farmers policy that limits customers’ selection of repair shops. Daniel Gatti, the lawyer for the auto body shops, said his clients are seeking a total of $8 million in economic damages and $2 million in non-economic damages. Gatti also said he would ask the jury to award punitive damages.
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