Man Pleads Not Guilty in 2 Slayings in Ohio in the 1970s

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) – A man charged with murder in the slayings of two women in Ohio in the 1970s has pleaded not guilty.

Seventy-five-year-old Gustave Sapharas pleaded not guilty Monday in Akron to charges including aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping and attempted rape. He’s charged in the stabbing deaths of 18-year-old Louise Bentz in 1970 and 21-year-old Loretta Jean Davis in 1975 in the Akron suburb of Tallmadge.

A judge set Sapharas’ bond at $5 million.

Authorities haven’t provided details on what led police to arrest Sapharas this month in the two cold cases.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Sapharas was convicted of raping a Cuyahoga Falls woman in the 1970s and acquitted last year in Licking County in a Columbus woman’s 1991 slaying.

A message seeking comment was left for Sapharas’ attorney.