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Knight pleads guilty

A man admitted in court Monday that he raped a west Medford woman and robbed a Medford restaurant, both in 2006.

Appearing before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain, Michael Ray Knight, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, second-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree burglary and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Knight will be sentenced in about three weeks, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Tim Barnack. Prosecutors will seek a 13-year prison term for the crimes, he said.

Knight was arrested by Medford police in Reno, Nev., in the fall of 2006 on several burglary, robbery and rape charges.

Medford police Lt. Tim George said Knight committed six residential burglaries between July 29 and Sept. 15, 2006. Some of the burglaries occurred when the victims were home, George said.

On Aug. 26, 2006, a woman reported that a masked man broke into her home in the 1300 block of Clearwater Drive and raped her twice. During the rape investigation, she told police that Knight, who lived near her at the time, was seen prowling around her residence.

Police also linked Knight to the Sept. 19, 2006 robbery of Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery, in which he held a female employee at gunpoint after the restaurant closed.

In all, Knight faced six counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree rape, four counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and second-degree kidnapping.

Medford detectives tracked Knight to Reno, where he was arrested Sept. 29, 2006.

Knight made no other comment and his victims did not appear in court Monday, Barnack said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.