Terapon Dang Adhahn pleaded guilty today in Pierce Country Superior Court to kidnapping, raping and murdering Zina Linnik, a 12-year-old Tacoma girl, in 2007, plus raping two other young girls.

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TACOMA — Terapon Dang Adhahn pleaded guilty this morning to kidnapping, raping and murdering Zina Linnik, a 12-year-old Tacoma girl, and repeatedly raping two other young girls.

The Linnik family sat across from Adhahn, 43, in Pierce County Superior Court as he pleaded guilty as charged to the 15 criminal charges, including aggravated first-degree murder. The slight man who was once convicted of incest for raping his half-sister in 1990 could have faced the death penalty in the slaying of 12-year-old Zina Linnik, but prosecutors agreed not to pursue execution in exchange for information.

Under state law, Adhahn will have to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said.

His sentencing is scheduled to take place May 2.

Adhahn, who appeared before Judge Rosanne Buckner, also pleaded guilty as charged to seven counts of rape for repeated assaults against a young girl who lived with him for four years, and three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping in connection with an attack on a third girl in 2000.

Additionally, he pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to register as a sex offender in connection with the 1990 incest conviction.

Zina Linnik was kidnapped from behind her Tacoma home on July 4, 2007.

Her father caught a partial license-plate number that led police to Adhahn. After his arrest and an agreement by Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Horne, Adhahn led investigators to Linnik’s body July 12.

She had been killed by a blow to her head, and his DNA was found on her body, investigators said.

Adhahn was additionally charged in connection with the kidnapping and rape of an 11-year-old girl in 2000. Prosecutors, who at the time didn’t know Adhahn by name, filed charges in 2002 against a DNA profile later matched to Adhahn. Prosecutors said Adhahn grabbed the girl using a knife, duct-taped her hands, mouth and eyes, and then drove to a remote, wooded area at Fort Lewis, where he repeatedly raped her.

In 2001, police and prosecutors said, a 12-year-old girl whose mother had unspecified “troubles” that prevented her from caring for the girl allowed the child to move into his home.

The girl, who now lives in Wichita, Kan., told Tacoma detectives that she was raped between 150 to 200 times during the four years she lived with the man she called “Dad.”

The attacks stopped only when she fled his home in 2005 at age 16 after she refused him and he raped her at gunpoint, according to court documents.

Police said Adhahn is still being investigated as a “person of interest” in the disappearance of 12-year-old Adre’anna Jackson, of Lakewood, who vanished on her way to school in December 2005 and later was found dead.

The plea deal will not prevent prosecutors from filing additional charges if Adhahn is later linked to other crimes, prosecutors said.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 cclarridge@seattletimes.com