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Serial rapist sentenced to 20 additional years in prison after pleading guilty to two cold case sexual assaults

“This serial rapist, who has been convicted of raping six victims, will now rightfully die behind bars,” said Cuyahoga Co. Prosecutor, Michael O'Malley.
Ronald Wheeler.

CLEVELAND — On Tuesday morning, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced the additional sentencing of a Cleveland man in connection to two cold case sexual assaults in the area. 

According to Prosecutor O'Malley, Ronald Wheeler, 48, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the rape of two women in Cleveland between December 2006 and March of 2007. Wheeler was already serving a 48-year sentence for four other stranger rapes.

 “This serial rapist, who has been convicted of raping six victims, will now rightfully die behind bars,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “Although delayed, justice has been served for these victims.” 

The first assault, which took place in December of 2006, included the brutal attack on an 18-year-old woman who was walking in the Quincy Avenue district of the city. According to police, Wheeler approached the young woman, pulled out a gun, and forced her into an empty building where he threatened to kill her and assaulted her several times. 

The victim was taken to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was taken, and Wheeler managed to get away. 

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In March of 2007, Wheeler approached a 23-year-old woman who was holding her five-month-old child at a bus stop near Woodland Avenue. The man pulled out a gun, threatened to kill the woman and her baby, and sexually assaulted her multiple times while holding the woman's child. Wheeler then stole the woman's money and fled the scene. 

The 23-year-old victim was also taken to a nearby hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected. 

In 2013, the Sexual Assault Kit Task Force (SAKTF) was created by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office to investigate and test rape and sexual assault kits that had gone untested for years. Both victims' rape kits were tested as part of this new initiative. Wheeler's DNA matched both kits. 

Wheeler then pleaded guilty to two counts of Rape. 

After the most recent sentencing, Wheeler will not be eligible for release until August 2075.

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