FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Prosecutors are certain that Nickey Stane sexually assaulted and murdered Fresno State student Debbie Dorian in August of 1996.
Dorian's death may be the most vicious crime Stane is accused of committing, but authorities believe he victimized more women in the years to follow.
Last fall, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office charged Stane with eight felonies related to a series of sexual assaults in Visalia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In each of the incidents, Stane is accused of using a gun.
Stane pleaded not guilty to those charges, as well as a misdemeanor charge of peeking or peeping. Tulare County prosecutors say he used a recording device to view someone in the bathroom without their knowledge.
Several months later, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward announced the transfer of all of those cases to Fresno County.
"While the defendant is entitled to an absolutely fair trial, it seems only logical and it seems only appropriate that one jury gets to hear all the evidence and they get to hear all of the conduct that is presented, and Mr. Stane is accused of committing in one consolidated quest for justice," Ward said.
Ward says there's another benefit to consolidating the cases in Fresno County.
Dorian's family won't have to wait for court proceedings to play out in Tulare County first.
Ward added that the victims in their cases, a total of five, are supportive and understanding of the decision.
And he says his office has informed them that they could be asked to testify at Stane's trial in Fresno County.
"We've already notified our victims of that possibility," Ward said. "Our office and our victim advocates remain committed to assisting in any way we can."
"If that means continual contact with them or perhaps assistance in getting to and from court, we're willing to help in any way that we can," Ward said. "Any service that we would provide to victims of crime in Tulare County, we'll provide to them, even though the case is here, especially since it's not that far."
Stane previously was looking at punishment of more than 70 years in prison if convicted of the cases in Tulare County.
But with an added murder charge that includes enhancements, Stane could go to prison for life without parole, or be sentenced to death.
Authorities believe Debbie Dorian murder suspect victimized more women
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