accused in rapes

Many in local theater are
shocked at Anderson's arrest

By Jaymes Song

Hawaii's tight-knit theater community was astonished by yesterday's arrest of prominent actor and director Gary L. Anderson, who is suspected in a series of stun-gun rapes.

According to one woman's report to police, Anderson raped her while she was pregnant and used threats to try to maintain an affair with her.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was granted a temporary restraining order against Anderson in September 1996, which is valid until 1999. She acted with Anderson in 1994.

Police said Anderson, 44, is believed to be the "stun-gun rapist," who zapped prostitutes with a stun gun, raped them and then robbed them.

Anderson is co-founder and executive artistic director of the theater group ASATAD, which stands for "All Singing! All Talking! All Dancing!" Anderson, who has received top theater awards, also has reportedly appeared in several local television advertisements for Zippy's, Sleepland and Liberty House.

He was arrested yesterday morning when a prostitute, who was reportedly victimized Jan. 13, spotted him in Waikiki, police said.

Anderson, of Kaneohe, was allegedly soliciting another prostitute in front of the Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

A stun gun and a toupee were found in Anderson's possession during the 3:30 a.m. arrest, said Lt. Wayne Fergerstrom of the adult sex crimes detail.

Fergerstrom said Anderson is suspected in four stun-gun rape cases dating to October 1997.

The woman who filed the restraining order said Anderson repeatedly threatened to tell her husband of the affair if she didn't have sex with him.

The affidavit attached to the restraining order stated: "I am certain that it is only a matter of time before this happens again. Mr. Anderson has never taken responsibility or expressed any remorse for his terroristic actions of those days in May. And I am afraid of the actions and accusations he will make in the future. I request this TRO (temporary restraining order) so that I and my household and husband have protection from this very deceitful and dangerous man."

"It comes as a terrible shock," said ASATAD's volunteer publicist Nathan Crow. "I would have never suspected that.

"He's a very nice guy, very pleasant to be with and very outgoing."

Actor Don Pomes said he read about the stun-gun rapes, but he never suspected the man he acted with in last summer's performance of "12 Angry Men."

"It comes as a complete surprise," Pomes said. "I'm speechless. He never was inappropriate in front of women."

Diamond Head Theatre managing director, Deena Dray, echoed Pomes's reactions.

"I'm very surprised and shocked," she said. "He's well-known and well-liked in the theatrical community. He's respected for what he does."

ASATAD board member Phillip Haff said Anderson is a "superb actor."

"I never expected it," said Haff, who has known Anderson for 10 years. "He's a nice guy. There's no hint in his personality that he would do this."

Police said Anderson was booked on suspicion of first-degree robbery, kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault.

Stun guns and tasers
illegal, uncommon here

This photo from a U.S. Cavalry catalog shows the Thunder Power stun gun, advertised for $39.95.

On the mainland, the electric guns can
be found at The Sharper Image

By Lori Tighe

Intimidator Stun Gun: The loudest, most intimidating stunner on the market; a crackling 200,000 volts. Contact can cause a dazed mental state to loss of balance and muscle control . . . $69.95

Illegal in Hawaii, stun guns, or electric guns, like the one described above can be bought at The Sharper Image on the mainland and through mail order catalogs such as "U.S. Cavalry."

Although stun guns have been used recently in four rape cases and several robberies, the devices don't appear to be an increasing trend.

"Stun guns have been used for a long time," said police Sgt. James McGee.

"But we've seen very few cases around here. It's nothing alarming."

Victims can do nothing to protect themselves from a stun-gun attack, said Honolulu Police Lt. Wayne Fergerstrom, "except beware."

The device resembles an electric razor, or a TV clicker, with two tongs at the top. It runs on nine-volt batteries. Attackers touch their victims with the stun gun and press a button. It blasts a 50,000 to 200,000-volt shock that leaves victims paralyzed for up to 15 minutes.

If the victim has a heart condition, a stun gun could cause a heart attack, according to Armand Start, a medical doctor who runs the National Center for Correctional Healthcare Studies.

Stun guns such as the Intimidator and Thunder Power can be ordered through the mail from catalogs like U.S. Cavalry, based in Radcliff, Ky.

Hawaii residents cannot have stun guns mailed to them, said Joanne Bailey, a customer service representative from U.S. Cavalry. But the company will mail the stun guns and other weapons to Hawaii military personnel through the Army Post Office and the Fleet Post Office.

More Americans are adding stun guns, including tasers, to their personal arsenal, according to an Associated Press report. Police in certain mainland states have used tasers since the 1970s. But about three years ago, Air Taser Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., began marketing them to civilians. By mid 1996, the company claimed to have sold more than 10,000 guns.

Use of a stun gun in Hawaii is considered a misdemeanor, said Deputy Prosecutor Larry Grean.

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