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Man accused of rapes in two states pleads innocent to 17 felony charges

August 6, 1997 GMT

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ A man accused of raping 11 women in college towns in Florida and Georgia since his release from prison five years ago has pleaded innocent to charges he sexually assaulted five University of Georgia students.

John Alexander Scieszka, 46, of Alpharetta, also faces sexual assault charges in Valdosta and DeKalb County in Georgia and in Gainesville, Fla.

Police arrested Scieszka on Jan. 30 in Cherokee County on a warrant from Gainesville, Fla.

Scieszka entered his pleas Tuesday in Clarke County Superior Court. It was his first appearance with a Legal Aid attorney; he hired a private attorney after his arrest but that lawyer was allowed to withdraw because Scieszka was unable to pay his fees.

Scieszka was sentenced to concurrent terms of 25 and 30 years in Florida prisons for two 1980 rapes, but was released in 1992 because of accumulated good behavior time.