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Police Say They Have Arrested Santa Ana Serial Rapist

January 25, 2012
By The Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera, Jr. on January 25, 2012 12:48 PM |

Police recently made some serious allegations in a Santa Ana sex crimes case by arresting a man they're telling the public is responsible for several local sexual assaults.

Being charged with a sex crime in California carries serious penalties, with possible prison sentences that can run into the decades. Defendants can also be stuck having to register as a sexual offender on state and national registries. Those listings can last for years or a lifetime, depending on the severity of the charges.
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Santa Ana criminal defense lawyers will question whether a person is actually a "serial" criminal because that is a difficult thing to prove. But law enforcement officers will sometimes jump to conclusions based on a weak string of evidence in trying to clear out many cases at once.

For instance, in Santa Ana burglary cases, detectives will look to see if there's a similar "style," or "description" of a person in different burglaries in the same neighborhood. If they end up arresting one person, they may try to pin several burglaries on that person.

But common sense tells us that most burglaries are done in a similar fashion -- using the same tools, looking for the most expensive goods for example. Usually, descriptions are so vague, anyone could be a potential match. But if police arrest a person and charge them with several crimes, they can mark those cases closed and move on, even if there is no conviction.

A similar thing can happen in sex cases. In this situation, ABC News reports, police have arrested a 39-year-old man from Baldwin Park whom they believe was targeting undocumented residents as well as prostitutes.

The man was charged after he allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman in December. The man allegedly followed her from a Christmas Eve party, forced her into a van, threatened her with a gun, knife and Taser, assaulted her and dumped her body on the side of the road and then tossed her clothing back to her.

Police say they have evidence from the clothing that connects the man to the crime. And after serving a search warrant on his home, detectives say they found guns and a Taser and other evidence they say links him to other victims. The police declined to elaborate on what the other evidence may be.

Because it's unclear what other evidence there is, it's tough to say how legitimate of a case there is. Simply owning guns or a Taser hardly is sound evidence to call a person a rapist. And often in traumatizing events, witnesses can't think clearly enough to get a good look at a suspect.

But if police suggest a person to them, they sometimes get in their head that that's the person, even if it's not. The fact that alleged victims may be undocumented or prostitutes won't help their credibility, unless there is iron-clad proof presented by the state.

If you are facing sex crimes charges in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your options. With three decades of experience, Attorney LaBarbera has argued more than 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

United States v. Burleson Highlights Need For Strong Motion to Suppress in Orange County Felony Cases: September 29, 2011

Additional Resources:

Santa Ana police arrest alleged serial rapist, by Eileen Frere, ABC News