A Tacoma teenager accused in a series of sex crimes dating to last year pleaded not guilty to 12 felonies Thursday.
Authorities believe that, since March 2012, Andrake Morris, 18, has attacked at least five women, the latest being the beating and attempted sexual assault of a Tacoma day care worker Monday.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged Morris with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, three counts of indecent liberties and one count each of attempted first-degree rape, attempted second-degree kidnapping, residential burglary, third-degree theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.
On Thursday, Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley increased Morris bail from $1 million set at his initial appearance Tuesday to $2 million at the request of deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer. Foley also ordered Morris to surrender all weapons to authorities and to stay at least 1,000 feet away from his alleged victims, should he make bail.
Morris was arrested Monday night after the attack on the day care worker.
That woman told police a man later identified as Morris came to the Tender Hearts day care, 8018 Pacific Ave., before it opened and asked to enroll his child. Once inside, he beat her badly and tried to rape her. He ran away when the victims mother arrived at the day care.
The day care worker was in court Thursday for Morris arraignment but left without talking to reporters.
Detectives investigating the case learned there were several unsolved reports of a sexual nature in the area of 84th and Pacific since 2012, court records show. They suspected Morris might be involved and set up surveillance of his house, eventually arresting him.
A search of the house turned up the day care workers wedding ring and cellphone and evidence from an October robbery in which a woman and her two young children were held up by a young man at a Tacoma drugstore. Investigators also found a .38-caliber revolver in his room, records show.
Detectives used his DNA to link him to an August 2012 case in which a man broke into an apartment, ejaculated on a sleeping woman and stole a laptop, court records show.
Morris also is charged with attacking a woman in the laundry room of her Tacoma apartment building, holding a gun to her head and forcing her to fondle him.
Prosecutors believe he also is the man who sexually assaulted a woman outside a different drugstore and tried to drag her away. She fought back and escaped, court records show.
The Tacoma police detectives on the Tender Heart day care attempted rape case did an excellent job at tying together these five crime scenes, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. The community is safer now with the defendant in custody.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644