A serial rapist in Butte County has pleaded guilty, setting up a sentence that could put him behind bars for life. 25-year-old Nicholas Snowden admitted to the forcible rape of three women, all of them picked up in Oroville. The first was in February. The 27-year-old victim was standing with some friends on Feather River Boulevard when Snowden offered her a ride. He didn’t take her where she asked, but instead took her to a field in South Oroville and raped her at knifepoint. He then pushed her from his SUV and drove off. She ran to a nearby parking lot and a passerby drove her home. DNA evidence was obtained from her clothing. The second victim was in the parking lot of a 7-11 when Snowden offered her a ride. He took the 31-year-old woman to a field behind an elementary school and raped her, threatening to stab her if she resisted. The third victim was a 52-year-old woman sitting in front of Goodwill. He offered her a ride and raped her behind the same school as the second victim. DNA evidence was obtained from her as well. Surveillance video from both of those incidents led to a sheriff’s office investigative assistant recognizing a decal on the back window, and seeing the SUV on Oro-Bangor Highway. Detectives brought Snowden in and the DNA matched. On Tuesday Snowden had a preliminary hearing, during which he entered guilty pleas to all three rapes. He faces up to 25 years in state prison, and California’s sexually violent predator law means that before he’s released he’ll be evaluated by psychiatrists who could decide to transfer him to a state hospital until he’s considered safe.